Moving Toyshop

 Ellen has very kindly pointed out to me that I have never really explained the title of my blog! A pretty daft omission but there you go.

The primary allusion comes from Pope’s Rape of The Lock, a favourite poem of mine ; the exact lines (from Canto 1) are as follows…

>>With varying Vanities, from ev’ry Part,
They shift the moving Toyshop of their Heart;
Where Wigs with Wigs, with Sword-knots Sword-knots strive,
Beaux banish Beaux, and Coaches Coaches drive.
This erring Mortals Levity may call,
Oh blind to Truth! the Sylphs contrive it all.<<

The sylphs are part of Pope’s fantastical mock-heroic creation who move the poem’s action.

The secondary allusion is to Edmund Crispin’s Golden Age mystery of the same name (1946) – and Crispin, a leading member of what I have recently seen very well described on the Golden Age list (see link right) as the ‘literary fantasist’ tradition, was in turn, of course, himself referring back to Pope.

So I hope that provides a long over-due explanation.

One thought on “Moving Toyshop

  1. Come to think of it, Byron loved Pope’s poetry. Maynard Mark’s _The Garden and the City_ elides over the ironic, hard and nastier complexities of Pope’s persona but it is a beautiful book.

    I love to pack in allusions to one line or name too.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s