Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

Frank William Boreham 1871-1959
A photo F W Boreham took of himself in 1911

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Rowland Croucher Reviews The Chalice of Life by F. W. Boreham

Here's another John Broadbanks Publishing (2008) contribution to our enjoyment of the wisdom of a wonderfully gifted wordsmith and pastor.

In his Foreword Geoff Pound writes: 'This book is a collection of five addresses that F W Boreham delivered at some major stages of life, and this is accompanied by two further essays in which the author develops the theme of life's milestones...

'Throughout these pages one feels the sheer exuberance that Boreham had for life. He possesses a sense of wonder about the newness of each day.

'His approach is to greet each day with expectancy and to make the momentous decisions with which life confronts us. F W Boreham claimed that the greatest day of a person's life was not their birthday, their wedding anniversary, or the date of their death, but "The greatest day in a man's life is the day on which he finds himself overwhelmed and bowed to earth by a sense of the greatness of God".'

I read a chapter a day from this small volume last week, and here are some items which 'gave me pause'. I offer them as teasers to whet your appetite, and encourage you to buy the book. (Let's forgive Boreham for the non-inclusive language we all used back then).

'I congratulate the men and women of thirty in my congregation on having survived a period that proved fatal to the overwhelming majority of their remote predecessors and distant contemporaries' (p.2)

'Middle-aged people are in the practical or prosy stage of life. The romance of youth has worn off; the romance of age has not arrived. They are between the poetry of the dawn and the poetry of the twilight' (p. 13)

'There is a time when a peach, being ripe, proceeds to sweeten: at fifty a man reaches that stage' (p.24)

'No man of sixty knows that he is sixty. He may think that he does; but that, of course, is quite another matter. As our wives so frequently and so truthfully remind us, we men think that we know lots and lots of things of which, in reality, we know absolutely nothing' (p.29). 'A man of sixty has entered into the autumn of life. Of all the seasons, autumn is the most idyllic' (p. 33)

Two offerings in the category 'Why didn't I think of that?': 'The Red Indians of North America held that the loveliest hues of all the flowers that fade in the forest are gathered into the skies, reappearing in the gorgeous beauty of the rainbow' (p. 45)

'When I think of what might have happened if some old forbear of mine, away back in the age of the cave-men, had taken it into his head to marry the woman he murdered, or to murder the women whom he married, it seems to me a perfect miracle that I got here' (p. 49).

Boreham says of his craft: 'A serious journalist must write on current events and open his article with a dignified reference to the recent happening. But an essayist scorns such restrictions: his work is ‘apropos de rien’: it has no connections or relationships. He may open his lips whenever he likes on any topic that takes his fancy...' (p.32)

I'm personally grateful that thousands of topics took Boreham's fancy in a long and fruitful life. You can buy new publications of these 'fancies' from .

Shalom/Salaam/Pax! Rowland Croucher

I am most grateful to Rowland for this further book review--Geoff Pound

You can order any of our Boreham titles by emailing Mike Dalton at

You can also order through AbeBooks, Amazon and eBay.

You can order through Peter Geizer at

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Front covers of The Chalice of Life.