|“||Why? Because we're going to help you, that's why! You don't think we'd just sit here while you tried to escape from Olaf's clutches, would you?||”|
— Isadora Quagmire to the Baudelaires
Caught in a similar plight to that of the Baudelaires, the Quagmires are heirs to a large fortune of sapphires, which Count Olaf is determined to claim for himself. He kidnaps Duncan and Isadora at the end of The Austere Academy and keeps them in his clutches until the end of The Vile Village, where they escape with Hector in his Self-Sustaining Hot Air Mobile Home.
Isadora is the family poet, who composes couplets to help assess the various dilemmas that the family finds itself in, or to assist in undermining one of Olaf's schemes. She admires the poet Lord Byron. In the TV series, she mentions she read all of Ogden Nash's work.
Isadora proves to be brave on multiple occasions, such as when she and Duncan go in disguise as Violet and Klaus respectively to run laps while the Baudelaires studied for their exams. Additionally, she shows kindness when she befriends the Baudelaires along with Duncan, and empathizes with their situation. She shows intelligence in The Vile Village when she arranges her couplets in order to spell the location of herself and Duncan; the fountain.
In the TV series, there are many implications she has a crush on Klaus Baudelaire, and vice versa, the most blatant being is when she kisses Klaus on the cheek. There are also some possible hints from the book.
Before The Austere Academy
Isadora and her brother were likely named after famous dancer Isadora Duncan. Before the Baudelaires came into the picture, Isadora and her family suffered a terrible tragedy when a fire broke out in their mansion. The Quagmire parents acted quickly for their children, stuffing Quigley down in a tunnel while running to find the other two. Duncan and Isadora are saved, although their parents died, but go on believing that Quigley also perished with them. They later find out that their brother escaped to Montgomery Montgomery's house via the underground tunnel.
The Austere Academy
Isadora was first introduced in The Austere Academy. She and her brother, Duncan, were placed in Prufrock Preparatory School in the same circumstances as the Baudelaires, minus the fact they didn't know that any villain was after them. When the Baudelaires arrived, Isadora's and Duncan's living space was "upgraded" from sleeping in the Orphans Shack to a broom closet.
Isadora and Duncan were always kind to the Baudelaires and being orphans, were highly disliked by Carmelita Spats. As orphans, Isadora and Duncan were outcasts and despised in the school, although several hints in the books say that there were probably many more orphans at the school at the same time or around when they went. Isadora's teacher was Mrs. Bass, the same as Klaus'.
When the Baudelaires were being harassed by Count Olaf, who was back in disguise as Coach Genghis, and made to run S.O.R.E. laps every night, the Quagmires get involved, despite the Baudelaires' apprehension. When Vice Principal Nero puts on his violin concerts that must be attended by everyone, they sneak out to watch the Baudelaires and Genghis to make sure he wouldn't try anything suspicious. Things go terribly wrong and the Quagmires are "whisked away" by Olaf and his troupe and yell "V.F.D.!" to the orphans as they are driven away.
The Ersatz Elevator
Throughout the sixth book they are held prisoner by Olaf and Esmé Squalor in an empty elevator shaft. The Baudelaires find them but when they attempt to rescue them, they've already been moved. The Baudelaire orphans then discover that there is a tunnel from 667 Dark Avenue leading all the way to the remains of their mansion. When they go to the In Auction hosted by Esmé Squalor and Gunther (Olaf in disguise) they try to get Jerome to get the box of very fancy doilies that they think the Quagmires are hidden in. However, they open it and the Quagmires aren't in it. Olaf and his henchmen run off and the Baudelaires realize the Quagmires were hidden in the red herring.
The Vile Village
In the seventh installment, Mr. Poe is actively working on both the Quagmire and Baudelaire cases. He travels by helicopter looking for them while the Baudelaires are transported to their new home: the Village of Fowl Devotees the Baudelaires spend most of the book searching for their friends and finally realize they are hidden in the town center's crow fountain. As the Baudelaires had been thrown in jail on false charges of murder by Olaf (disguised as Detective Dupin), they are chased by villagers and Olaf's crew. while Hector, with his hot-air mobile, is in the sky above the house they were staying at. The Quagmires manage to climb up the rope but the Baudelaires, seeing that they cannot make the climb with the all of the villages crows flying around them and being dangerously close to being harpooned by Esmé Squalor, stay on the ground.
The Slippery Slope
Not much is said about Isadora until book ten, when we learn that the V.F.D. trained eagles (now in the clutches of Olaf) are being sent to attack the flying vessel that Isadora, Duncan, and Hector are in.
After The Slippery Slope
In the next series of stories, the Baudelaires are told that Quigley is safe and that Quigley arrived in time to fight off many eagles only to see that the hot air balloon mobile crashed directly onto the Queequeg, holding Captain Widdershins, Fiona, Fernald, and Kit, underneath them. This is told to the Baudelaires in The End by Kit after she has washed up on the shores of the island. She says that "The Great Unknown" came towards them and she did not know whether it swallowed them up or saved them.
Isadora keeps her information in a black commonplace notebook. It contains her couplets and notes from Mrs. Bass's class. The following is a collection of her poetry:
The Austere Academy
- I would rather eat a bowl of vampire bats
- than spend an hour with Carmelita Spats.
- It would be a stroke of luck
- if Coach Genghis were hit by a truck.
- It may not be particularly wise
- but it's a thrill to be disguised.
She speaks this in The Austere Academy: Part Two:
- Don't worry, Baudelaires. Don't feel disgrace.
- The Quagmire triplets are on the case.
The Ersatz Elevator
- On Auction Day, when the sun goes down,
- Gunther will sneak us out of town.
The Vile Village
- For sapphires we are held in here.
- Only you can end our fear.
- Until dawn comes we cannot speak.
- No words can come from this sad beak.
- The first thing you read contains the clue:
- An initial way to speak to you.
- Inside these letters the eye will see
- Nearby are your friends, and V.F.D.
The Slippery Slope
- Celebrate when you're half-done,
- And the finish won't be half as fun.
- Someone at the newspaper changed the story once again,
- It was not coffee, but black ink, that made the jacket's stain.
Behind the scenes
- Isadora and her brother Duncan are likely named after Isadora Duncan, an American-born, modern dancer from the Victorian era (born 1877). Duncan died tragically when her long, flowing scarf became caught in the open-spoked wheel of a car in which she was a passenger, breaking her neck.
- The Austere Academy
- The Ersatz Elevator
- The Vile Village
- The Hostile Hospital (Mentioned only)
- The Slippery Slope (Mentioned only)
- The Grim Grotto (Mentioned only)
- The Penultimate Peril (Mentioned only)
- The End (Mentioned only)
- A Series of Unfortunate Events (TV series)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Isadora and her siblings were taken by the Great Unknown. Many readers believe the Great Unknown is the Bombinating Beast though this has not been confirmed.
In Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights?, it states that Lemony killed Hangfire when he pushes the villain into the mouth of the Bombinating Beast. If the two entities are the same and Lemony did actually kill Hangfire, then Isadora would likely also be deceased.
However, at the end of the eighth chapter in The End, Lemony Snicket wrote that the Quagmire triplets "at this very moment were in circumstances just as dark although quite a bit damper than the Baudelaire's," suggesting that the Quagmires might be alive inside the Great Unknown.
Also, noteworthy, while Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights? was published after the The End, in-universe it is the report Snicket wrote as a teenager versus A Series of Unfortunate Events was written by Snicket as an adult. This means Snicket had more knowledge (about what happens to someone eaten by the Great Unknown/Bombinating Beast) when writing The End then when he wrote Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights?
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 PROSE: The Austere Academy