- For the real-life author, see Daniel Handler.
|“||My name is Lemony Snicket, and it is my sworn duty to carefully research the dire plight of the Baudelaire orphans.||”|
— The Reptile Room: Part One
Lemony Snicket is a mysterious novelist who is best-known as the narrator and author of A Series of Unfortunate Events series. The series covers his research of the lives of Beatrice Baudelaire's three children and documents their tragic experiences. He also the protagonist and author of the All the Wrong Questions, which covers events from when he was a 12-year-old V.F.D. apprentice. In addition, he has written several children books and contributed to other publications. He has dedicated himself to the hope of uncovering the mysteries of the world.
The Afflicted Author
The following biography appears on Snicket's official website:
- Mr. Snicket rarely appears in public, but when he does, it is best to avoid him. Fortunately, space at his events is limited.
- Lemony Snicket was born before you were, and is likely to die before you as well. His family has roots in a part of the country which is now underwater, and his childhood was spent in the relative splendor of the Snicket Villa which has since become a factory, a fortress, and a pharmacy and is now, alas, someone else's villa. To the untrained eye, Mr. Snicket's hometown would not appear to be filled with secrets. Untrained eyes have been wrong before.
- The aftermath of the scandal was swift, brutal and inaccurately reported in the periodicals of the day. It is true, however, that Mr. Snicket was stripped of several awards by the reigning authorities, including Honorable Mention, the Grey Ribbon and First Runner Up. The High Council reached a convenient if questionable verdict and Mr. Snicket found himself in exile.
- Though his formal training was chiefly in rhetorical analysis, he has spent the last several eras researching the travails of the Baudelaire orphans. This project, being published serially by HarperCollins, takes him to the scenes of numerous crimes, often during the offseason. Eternally pursued and insatiably inquisitive, a hermit and a nomad, Mr. Snicket wishes you nothing but the best.
- Due to the world-wide web of conspiracy which surrounds him, Mr. Snicket often communicates with the general public through his representative, Daniel Handler. Mr. Handler has had a relatively uneventful life, and is the author of three books for adults, The Basic Eight, Watch Your Mouth, and Adverbs, none of which are anywhere near as dreadful as Mr. Snicket's. Like Mr. Snicket, Mr. Handler wishes you nothing but the best.
- Mr. Snicket's investigations usually prevent him from being anywhere near any electronic equipment or postal paraphernalia, however, if you feel you must send word to him, you can write him at:
- via post:
- Mr. Snicket
- HarperCollins Children's Books
- 10 East 53rd Street
- New York, New York 10022
As a baby, Snicket was kidnapped by V.F.D in the farm's kitchen. He was taken in the middle of the night and was carried out of the Snicket home through the kitchen by his ankles. While in the car, the volunteers that took him showed him a photo of him as a baby sleeping in his crib to prove that they had been watching him since his birth.
At some point in time, he received a tattoo of the letters VFD on his ankle, like Count Olaf.
All the Wrong Questions
As described in his series All the Wrong Questions, in his childhood, long before he began his work on the Baudelaire case, Snicket was an apprentice to S. Theodora Markson in Stain'd-by-the-Sea, taking the place of Bertrand Baudelaire. Snicket was sent from the city to the town, where he first was assigned a job by Hangfire, a ghastly criminal, to retrieve or 'steal' the Bombinating Beast statue from the Mallahans.
Snicket failed the mission and was later assigned to find the chemist known as Miss Cleo Knight, who was being pursued by Hangfire.
Snicket became allied with several youths of the town, and killed Hangfire by pushing him into the mouth of the Bombinating Beast, causing a rift between Snicket and Hangfire's daughter, Ellington Feint. It is unknown if he ever reunited with any of the people he met in Stain'd-by-the-Sea; it is confirmed he never saw Moxie Mallahan again.
As a promotion for ATWQ, Snicket created an online series on YouTube called You Choose the Mystery, where you can follow a short mystery on Lemony's life depicting how he fails to send a message to a colleague, and, in turn, his colleague fails to send a message to him. In By The Other End (The End is the other option, however, this makes a better connection to ASOUE) Snicket is falsely accused of a crime and arrested.
In the Netflix series, the Baudelaires see a brief flash of him in a film talking about his time in Stain'd-by-the-Sea. Violet Baudelaire remarks at this time that "he looks like Jacques [Snicket]."
According to the Netflix TV series, Lemony Snicket attended Prufrock Preparatory School with Count Olaf. Both of them were in their school drama club. At Prufrock, both of them received V.F.D. training.
Unknown points in time
In 13 Shocking Secrets You'll Wish You Never Knew About Lemony Snicket, it is mentioned Snicket helped Beatrice commit an unspecified serious crime before her death, which fans theorize to be either the murder of Count Olaf's mother and father or the theft of the Sugar Bowl, both of which he is known to have assisted with.
In the TV series, it is shown that at the play La Forza del Destino, Lemony thought of the idea to steal the Sugar Bowl from Esmé Squalor. While Lemony and Beatrice were leaving, Esmé saw Beatrice holding the Sugar Bowl, making her think that Beatrice was mainly responsible. Beatrice accidentally murdered Count Olaf's father with a poison dart, but Lemony took the blame for it, likely to keep Beatrice safer from Olaf.
At some point, Snicket was captured while disguised as a bullfighter. He attended the Duchess of Winnipeg's masquerade ball in a bullfighter costume in an attempt to warn Beatrice about a secret involving Count Olaf, while his enemies closed in from all sides.
During this time, Snicket also worked for The Daily Punctilio as an obituary spellchecker and drama critic. He was fired by Eleanora Poe for his supposedly "bad" review of Al Funcoot's play "One Last Warning to Those Who Stand in My Way" and its lead actress, Esmé Squalor.
According to The Daily Punctilio, Snicket is a criminal. He is blamed for starting several fires (possibly with an acquaintance), one being the Quagmire fire. However, The Daily Punctilio has been wrong about many things and this is one of them. Unfortunately, the general public seem to have believed the lies, at least up until a certain point.
A Series of Unfortunate Events
One of the anagrams in Heimlich Hospital is "Monty Kensicle", an anagram of Lemony Snicket, meaning he may have been at the hospital when the Baudelaires were there.
In the book The Penultimate Peril, a mysterious taxi driver offers the Baudelaires to come with him after Dewey Denouement is killed, but they don't go because they don't know him. Lemony says in narration:
- "I do know who the man was, and I do know where he went afterward, and I do know the name of the woman who was hiding in the trunk, and the type of musical instrument that was laid carefully in the back seat, and the ingredients of the sandwich tucked into the glove compartment, and even the small item that sat on the passenger seat, still damp from its hiding place."
In the TV series, it is revealed it was Lemony Snicket. It is unknown if this is simply a continuity change, or if Lemony lied about the taxi driver in narration. It is also revealed that Lemony started to research and chronicle the lives of the Baudelaires directly after the Hotel Denouement fire; Justice Strauss gave Lemony a photo of the Baudelaires.
There is a great chance that the figure rowing in The End is Lemony Snicket.
In the TV series, he actually does meet her and they talk about the Baudelaires.
Lemony Snicket is very intelligent and studious. As shown in All the Wrong Questions, he believes in doing what is right even when he is scared. He is willing to risk injury to himself to help others. He is also very determined to catch Hangfire. Snicket is wise for his years and at times philosophical.
As he became older, he became more cynical. In A Series of Unfortunate Events, Snicket comes off as an extremely morbidly depressed narrator who hangs around graveyards and is in constant mourning of his deceased love, Beatrice Baudelaire. He has a morbidly humorous outlook on life. He is often brutally honest and sometimes rather savage with his words, such as saying a jar of mustard would probably be more helpful to the Baudelaires than Mr. Poe and calling Carmelita Spats a "filthy little girl".
He is often portrayed as being camera-shy, avoiding his face to be seen in photographs. As such, Daniel Handler had to represent him at many real-world events. In the film, he is only seen in shadows. However, this aspect of him was changed in the TV series, and his face is shown openly throughout - though it is made clear that, as in the books, he is still in hiding from his enemies in the series.
Lemony Snicket's works
This is only a list published under the "Lemony Snicket" name. For works published by "Daniel Handler", see Daniel Handler#List of works.
A Series of Unfortunate Events and accompanying works
- The Bad Beginning (1999)
- The Reptile Room (1999)
- The Wide Window (2000)
- The Miserable Mill (2000)
- The Austere Academy (2000)
- The Ersatz Elevator (2001)
- The Vile Village (2001)
- The Hostile Hospital (2001)
- The Carnivorous Carnival (2002)
- The Slippery Slope (2003)
- The Grim Grotto (2004)
- The Penultimate Peril (2005)
- The End (2006)
- Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography (2002)
- The Dismal Dinner (2004)
- The Beatrice Letters (2006)
- 13 Shocking Secrets You'll Wish You Never Knew About Lemony Snicket (2006)
- Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid (2007)
- The Blank Book (2004)
- The Notorious Notations (2006)
- The Puzzling Puzzles (2004, 2006)
- Who Could That Be at This Hour? (2012)
- When Did You See Her Last? (2013)
- Shouldn't You Be in School? (2014)
- Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights? (2015)
Short children's books
- The Baby in the Manger (2002)
- The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming (2007)
- The Lump of Coal (2008)
- The Composer Is Dead (2009)
- 13 Words (2010)
- The Dark (2013)
- 29 Myths on the Swinster Pharmacy (2014)
- Goldfish Ghost (2017)
- The Bad Mood and the Stick (2017)
- Comics for Little Lit: It Was a Dark and Silly Night... (2003)
- Introduction and reader's companion for The Bears' Famous Invasion of Sicily (2005) – book is also referenced in A Series of Unfortunate Events
- Introduction and unfinished short story in Noisy Outlaws, Unfriendly Blobs, and Some Other Things That Aren't as Scary, Maybe, Depending on How You Feel About Lost Lands, Stray Cellphones, Creatures from the Sky, Parents Who Disappear in Peru, a Man Named Lars Farf, and One Other Story We Couldn't Quite Finish, So Maybe You Could Help Us Out (2005)
- Forward for When a Sentence Ends in a Surprising Gazebo: Stories and Poems From 826 Seattle Writing Workshops (2009)
- Short story "Something You Ought to Know" in Half-Minute Horrors edited by Susan Rich (2009)
- Short stories "The Shadowy Abyss of Our Own Fates" and "Meanwhile, Near a Meadow" in The Exquisite Corpse Adventure (2011)
- Introduction for The Chronicles of Harris Burdick (2011)
- Commentator for "Playground" in New American Haggadah (2012)
- Foreword for The 826 Quarterly Vol. 17 (2013)
- Prose "All Good Slides Are Slippery" for Poetry Vol. 202, No. 5 (September 2013)
- Foreword for The Complete Peanuts 1989-1990 (Vol. 20) (2013)
- Introduction for The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2014 (2014)
- Poem "Count Your Blessings" in One Minute till Bedtime (2016)
- Short story "The Hero of the Story" in Guys Read: Heroes & Villains (2017)
Behind the scenes
To fill time at the end of the first audiobook, read by Tim Curry, there is an interview which is supposed to be with "Mr. Snicket" but he is apparently not home, and the interview proceeds with "Mr. Handler," who confuses himself with his "employer" throughout the interview. To avoid answering any tough questions, Handler invokes a psychological device by which the response to a query can be so horrible that it seems to the listener as if it was not given at all.
In the film, he is voiced by Jude Law. A commentary track entitled "Brad Silberling and the real Lemony Snicket Commentary" was recorded for the DVD released on 26 April 2005. Brad Silberling is the movie's director, and the "real Lemony Snicket" joke is a jibe aimed at Jude Law, considered the "Imposter Lemony Snicket."
In the video game, he is voiced by Tim Curry.
- See also: Daniel Handler at Wikiquote
- "If you have ever lost someone important very to you, then you already know how it feels, and if you haven't, you cannot possibly imagine it." (The Bad Beginning)
- "If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats." (The Wide Window)
- "Oftentimes, when people are miserable, they will want to make other people miserable, too. But it never helps." (The Wide Window)
- "Just because something is traditional is no reason to do it, of course. Piracy, for example, is a tradition that has been carried on for hundreds of years, but that doesn't mean we should all attack ships and steal their gold." (The Austere Academy)
- "We are told to ignore bullies. It's something they teach you, and they can teach you anything. It doesn't mean you learn it. It doesn't mean you believe it. One should never ignore bullies. One should stop them." (When Did You See Her Last?)
- "It felt like the wrong thing to do, standing at the wrong door in the wrong place. We did it anyway. Knowing that something is wrong and doing it anyway happens very often in life, and I doubt I will ever know why." (Who Could That Be At This Hour?)
- Lemony Snicket constantly defining words and his sometimes condescending and patronizing way of speaking to the reader is likely a parody and satire of how children's books are often dumbed down and treat the reader as unintelligent.
- Lemony Snicket is essentially Daniel Handler's persona in his narrative works, and an extension of himself, although in public, Handler says he is Lemony Snicket's "legal literary and social representative".
- In Chapter Fourteen of The End, Beatrice wrote in A Series of Unfortunate Events commonplace book that if Violet was a boy, "he" would have been named Lemony. It is noted that it is a family custom to name after the deceased.
- His office is the Rhetorical Building.
- He despises the term "tomboy", saying in The Penultimate Peril that "it is insulting term inflicted on girls whose behavior some people find unusual."
- Lemony Snicket is illustrated with dark hair in ATWQ. However, in "The Hero of the Story" which occurs afterwards, he is illustrated with light hair. As an adult, he has dark hair.
- Patrick Warburton, Snicket's portrayer in the TV series, got an ankle tattoo.
- He once send a letter to a fan with the secret message "Olaf nearby".
All the Wrong Questions
A Series of Unfortunate Events
"The Hero of the Story"