Never Mind the Manoeuvres

For manipulation to be most effective, evidence of its presence should be nonexistent… It is essential, therefore, that people who are manipulated believe in the neutrality of their key social institutions.    Herbert Schiller

Elliot_concertMan-ip-u-lation is the by-word for my writing today. I’m starting to add William Elliot to various scenes in Captain Wentworth’s Guide to Romance and Travel*, and above all things, he is a master manipulator.

The above quote is also good for me personally. Last week I was manipulated by an acquaintance and didn’t realize it until a few days later. The only reason I did, was because,  the evidence of the manipulation was all over the conversation. It’s too bad that I’m the perfect mark, a person who trusts and isn’t looking to be conned. Especially by people I know.

What’s funny is I have a lot of manipulative people in my life. My mom is a master. She’s even told me how she does it most of the time. I look back on my life and see instances in which I was “handled.”  I suppose a better term for it would be what Austen used: worked on.

This is probably why I like the quote by Lord Admiral Nelson: “Never mind the manoeuvres, go straight at them.”  Though, he wound up being killed in battle and brought home in a cask of brandy. I doubt I will suffer the same fate.

Do you see it coming? Or are you more savvy than I?

Anyway, today is a work day. Manipulative Mr Elliot is going in to do his magic. Will Anne see his emotional slight-of-hand, or will she succumb?

*Click HERE for the new posting of Captain Wentworth’s Guide to Romance and Travel up at SusanKayeWriter.


4 thoughts on “Never Mind the Manoeuvres

  1. Laura Hile

    William Elliot is so wonderfully fleshed out as a manipulator by Jane. For a while there, we almost want Anne to fall for him–almost. There’s something that isn’t quite right about him (meaning that Jane has us just where she wants us, along with Anne). We keep reading, and bit by bit the truth begins to emerge. *shudder*

    Did he truly fall in love with Anne? Trusting romantics (like me) would like to think maybe he did. Then again, is Mr. Elliot even capable of selfless love?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Susan Kaye Post author

      Like most romantics, you want to believe that love can change us. It can, but we’ve talked about deep, abiding change and where it comes from. Did Willie love Annie? I don’t think so. He wanted to. He knew she was the sort of woman who would be good for her. But, while he’s putting the moves on Anne, he’s simultaneously rousting Mrs Claye around–who later winds up “under his protection”–and keeping his friend, Mrs Smith, in poverty by not reconciling Mr Smith’s estate. No, Mr Elliot loved the idea of being in love, but wasn’t capable of doing it in reality, IMO.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Robin Helm

    Very interesting, Sue. I would never guess you are easily manipulated. I agree that William Elliot is a prime example of an expert in the field.

    I have to be careful not to manipulate people, and I see it fairly easily. I know when I’m being manipulated, but sometimes I allow it anyway. There are times that I don’t mind doing what the manipulator wants me to do, and times when it’s worth it to me to let them think they’re getting their way. Tell me. Who is the manipulator in that scenario?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Susan Kaye Post author

      I’d say you use manipulation to your advantage. I can’t. It’s not that I am virtuous, it’s that I don’t have the skills to read people and see it coming. And don’t mistake my trust for being naive. I know that pretty much everyone is capable of doing me in. It’s been in the last years I’ve learned that manipulators don’t have people in their lives that are off limits to their manipulations, it’s that they just haven’t gotten around to everyone yet.

      Liked by 1 person


Why yes, we DO want a piece of your mind. ;-)

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