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.