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Another Look at Snicket's Early Life


I have already posted my raw data on the events of Mr. Snicket's life, however now I would like to examine those facts and present them in a less listish sort of way.

Birth: An exact date of birth, or even a general one is somewhat tricky. He writes to Beatrice I in the Year of the Snake, after they have met (thus after he was eleven). Assuming this Year of the Snake is a chinese year, it is most likely 1977. This puts Lemony Snicket's date of birth between 1960 and 1967. Daniel Handler, who seems to be around the same age as Snicket ,was born in 1970. In 1977 Snicket must have been at least eleven, but he may have been older. Personally, for no particular reason, I tend to think of him as 13 in 1977. (BL LS to BB#2)

When Lemony Snicket talks about his birth, he does NOT mention the births of his two siblings. The family tree would APPEAR to have Kit and Jacques as twins, both being older than Lemony  The picture of Snicket (or someone about the same age as he was when taken) looks to be about 5. The picture of a child crawling would appear to be younger (Snicket denies he was crawling though). The fact that Dewey and Kit both remember the Schism taking place when they were 4 is interesting, meaning that Kit must have been aware of the VFD when she was 4.. Since she (and Jacques) were taken at the same time as Lemony, they may all be close in age. It is worth noting however that the branch of the family tree that would seem to be the three siblings has them coming from "E" when their father was known as Jacob (though perhaps this was not his given name?).  In short, its even harder to figure out how he relates to his siblings than it is to figure out when he might have been born (auto 11, 16, 21, 197; PP27,179).

Taking: as mentioned above, it is hard to say exactly how old any of the Snickets were when they were taken by the V.F.D. but it seems likely that all children were between the ages of about 6 and 2, with it being PLAUSIBLE that Kit and Jacques were 3-4 and Lemony Snicket was 2-3, though if the family tree is NOT showing these three siblings than it can only be said that Kit was likely 3-4 and Lemony was probably  2-5. In any event, they were apparently rather young. Given how young they were, it would seem they were not tattooed until sometime after they were taken given that it would be rather traumatic for a very young child to be taken away from home and then tattooed and none of the V.F.D. ever seem to have trauma associated with the getting of their tattoos, also, if Snicket was 2-3 when he was taken AND tattooed, he also met R. at this age, and can remember it  (though it might have been traumatic enough?) (auto 28)

between the age of 2-5 and 11, not much is known about Snicket, but, if he was like the rest of the taken, he spent this time being sent all over the world on various errands he did not understand (auto 39)

Beatrice I: He met Beatrice when he was 11, he noticed her outside a classroom, both being early and went up to remark on how it was the trait of a noble person to arrive early. She was not the only one to have down so, as she was with a group of friends. Singling her out in this fashion either embarrassed her or lead Lemony to believe she had been embarrassed. He then invited her out for root beer floats in a note. (BL LS to BB#2,5)

Indulging in Literary Critism...



...a phrase that here means "I am going to praise Lemony Snicket for his writing"

Lemony Snicket's work acknowledges the feelings of helplessness children can feel in a world controlled by adults, as well as the facts that bad things happen to good people and that life is hardly ever fair. At the same time, however, the efforts of the Baudelaire orphans demonstrate that children can influence their own futures. The spirit of self-determination is one of the values instilled by Snicket's writing, along with a love of books and learning, careful evaluation of sources, family, compassion, teamwork, individuality, and perseverance. While nothing can restore their lost parents or home, the Baudelaire's emerge in the end triumphant having survived all attempts on their lives and taking responsibility for themselves, embracing an unexpected new family member, and continuing on into the Great Unknown for more of life's fortunate, and unfortunate events. Lemony Snicket gives children a story that does not depict life as a simple narrative with a linear storyline, neatly presented facts, or tied off loose ends. Rather, Snicket gives them a story as messy as life itself but with many wondrous, surprising, exciting, unlikely, and of course, unfortunate things woven together in an intriguing manner. From the dedication in the first book to the biographical text at the very end of the last book, A Series of Unfortunate Events and its companion materials include the author and his own unfortunate events to give children a reason to look at the lives of authors as well as their books.

The following is a nearly complete list of the facts and events Lemony Snicket has professed to after having published The Bad Beginning:

  1. A friend of Lemony Snicket's, Madam diLustro held a dinner party while he was writing The Reptile Room [RR16]

  2. During the writing of The Reptile Room, Lemony Snicket was safe from Count Olaf. [RR85]

  3. Lemony Snicket wrote at least part of The Reptile Room on his friend Bella's yacht [RR152]

  4. At least part of the time while Lemony Snicket was writing The Wide Window he was in his own home which has a window overlooking a graveyard. He wishes he could go back in time to comfort the Baudelaires in the troubles during The Wide Window because he would have been better at it than the other adults. [WW70-71]

  5. The publishers of A Series of Unfortunate Events were pulling their hair out about The Wide Window because they feared people might emulate the Baudelaires' desperate acts for survival as recreational stunts. [WW125]

  6. Not long before writing The Miserable Mill, Lemony Snicket had a sword fight with a TV repair man. [MM168]

  7. For part of writing of The Ersatz Elevator Lemony Snicket was in a typewriter factory after arguing with a med student about borrowing the med student's boat to escape being chained inside a small, waterproof room. [EE67]

  8. Lemony Snicket wrote sixth chapter of The Ersatz Elevator while handcuffed and behind double-locked doors. [EE91]

  9. Lemony Snicket begins typing The Vile Village in the Village of Fowl Devotees. [VV2]

  10. “...the morning was so pretty and peaceful that as I describe it I can almost forget that it was a very, very sad morning for me, a morning I wish I could strike forever from the Snicket Calender. But I can't erase this day, any more than I can write a happy ending to this book, for the simple reason that the story does not go that way.” [VV136] (the day Jacques was found dead)

  11. Jacques was murdered by Count Olaf while being held in the Village of Fowl Devotees jail after being mistaken for Count Olaf. [VV151-52]

  12. Violet Baudelaire says that the name “Jacques Snicket” sounds familiar, and Duncan Quagmire replies “I'm not surprised...Jacques is the brother of a man who-” [VV222]

  13. While typing The Horrible Hospital, Lemony Snicket was hiding behind an alter at the Cathedral of the Alleged Virgin. Worshipers sat in pews and a friend played a sonata on the organ which reminded Lemony Snicket of a song his father sang while washing dishes. [HH37]

  14. “When my workday is over, and I have closed my notebook, hidden my pen, and sawed holes in my rented canoe so it cannot be found, I often like to spend the evening in conversation with my few remaining friends.” Lemony Snicket and his friend tend to discuss literature, the people who are after them, how to elude their enemies, or beasts that may attack them. [CC1]

  15. Lemony Snicket went to Briny Beach in the mornings, at least while writing The Carnivorous Carnival, to look for materials pertaining to the Baudelaire case. He could feel peaceful while doing this, but, when he went for tea afterward, the sugar bowl always made him sob loudly about Beatrice. [CC114]

  16. At one point while writing The Carnivorous Carnival, Lemony Snicket headed into terrible circumstances hoping to make them less terrible. [CC118]

  17. The Carnivorous Carnival contains a note from Lemony Snicket to his sister, “My dear sister, if you are reading this, I am still alive and heading North to try and find you.” [CC124]

  18. Lemony Snicket composed several titles for a hypothetical autobiography, or biography, which may reveal something of how he viewed himself. He uses the phrase “A Coward and a Gentleman”, as well “The Man Behind the Truth”, “a Man who Has Never Burned Anything Down, Despite What You May Have Heard”, and “A Good Man in Bad Trouble”(auto p.59-60)

  19. The Slippery Slope contains another letter from Lemony to his sister. Since he specifically makes reference to her finding the note in the book on the shelf of a library, and the book was published in 2003, as of that time Kit Snicket was still alive and Lemony was coordinating with her through his books which he thought would be safe because he warned readers against reading them and that most would have given up before getting that far due to their unfortunate contents. [SS100-102]

  20. The letter to Kit states that Lemony has found evidence that would prove Count Olaf was guilty of starting the fires Lemony had been accused of (and sought by police for). Kit had suggested once that a tea set would be a good hiding place for something, and he says she was right, hinting that he may have concealed this evidence in a sugar bowl, perhaps the sugar bowl, particularly since the letter contained his intent to secure the evidence at the Vally of Four Drafts where the sugar bowl would be thrown out a window to keep it from falling into enemy hands. He also says he will then go to the Hotel Denouement. [SS101-102]

  21. Lemony Snicket has not able to find the remnants of the caravan that fell off the Mortmain Mountains just after Klaus and Violet got out of it, nor does he knew what happened to the two women with powdered white faces who quit Olaf's gang. He spent some time looking for the caravan, battling the snow gnats of the region and used a flashlight. He also searched for the ladies in the city where it was rumored they sang in dismal musicals, the hinterlands where it was rumored they grew and sold rhubarb, and took plenty of bones found in caves in the mountains to a skeleton expert until she asked to stop because he was making her miserable. He also failed to locate the refrigerator that held the coded message the Klaus discovered and held a pickle that he had intended to put in an important coded sandwich [SS21, 333-334]

  22. Lemony Snicket and Jacques Snicket both found themselves in the Mortmain Mountains at separate times asking the question, “What in the world is that ominous-looking cloud of tiny, white buzzing objects coming towards us?” The woman Lemony was traveling with answered by donning a motorcycle helmet and a red silk cape to protect herself from the snow gnats. Jacques had nightmares for weeks about his experience. [SS 36-37]

  23. The Submarine Queequeg had been communicating with over 25 agents of the V.F.D. before the arrival of the Baudelaires. It is possible one of these members could have been Lemony Snicket although he does not mention it. [GG73]

  24. “Later this afternoon, for instance, I will enter a room full of sand, and if I do not find the test tube I am looking for, it will be difficult to admit that I have sifted through all that sand for nothing.” [GG56]

  25. While writing The Grim Grotto, Lemony Snicket spent part of his time picking through a salad looking for the a croûton that could save Kit Snicket's life. [GG225-26]

  26. Kit Snicket had Turkish coffee with Thursday Caliban, another member of the V.F.D., the day before she met the Baudelaire children. [TE174]

  27. It is heavily implied that the man who drove the Taxi who dropped off Jerome Squalor and Justice Strauss at the Hotel Denouemont during The Penultimate Peril was in fact Lemony Snicket himself. The taxi driver offers the Baudelaire children a free ride, mentions “a great American writer”, and asks them if they are who he thinks they are. The children could not see his face because of the darkness, just that he was “a tall, skinny figure” smoking a cigarette. Lemony Snicket admits to knowing who the man was, though he does not say. He does say he also knows where the man went next, who was in the trunk of the taxi, the contents of the sandwich in the glove compartment, which musical instrument was in the backseat, and what damp object was on the passenger seat. He does not however know if the Baudelaire orphans should have gone with the man or not, just that if they had, their woeful story would have been longer. Lemony Snicket mentions in The Slipery Slope that he has communicated with coded sandwiches and in more than one place is revealed to play the accordion, those facts, in combination with the fact that he knows the details of the man in the taxi so well, as well as the time he devotes to the fact that no one knows whether or not the Baudelaire children would have been better off or happier with the man in the taxi suggest that it could well be Lemony Snicket who drives away in the taxi looking back in the rear view mirror at the Baudelaires. [PP244-246,250-251]

  28. The biographical information at the end of The Penultimate Peril reveals that Lemony Snicket only took occasional breaks from his research for food and “court-appointed sword fights”. “His hobbies include nervous apprehension, increasing dread, and wondering if his enemies were right after all.” [PPbiodata]

  29. “When I was shipwrecked recently, for instance, I had the fortune to wash aboard a barge where I enjoyed a later super of roast leg of lamb with creamed polenta and a fricassee of baby artichokes, followed by some aged Gouda served with roasted figs, and finished up with some fresh strawberries dipped in milk chocolate and honeycomb.” This was after he was “tossed like a rag doll in the turbulent waters of a particularly stormy creek.” [TE87]

  30. Lemony Snicket's sister, Kit, washed up on the same coastal shelf that the Baudelaire's did, in The End, arriving on a raft made out of books [TE111]

  31. Count Olaf kissed Kit on the mouth after taking her from the raft and placing her on the beach. He said he told her he'd do that once more. Kit refuses to forgive him for his misdeeds and Count Olaf says he has not apologized. [TE316]

  32. Count Olaf dies from a harpoon injury he sustained after Ishmael shot him and broke the diving helmet Olaf was using to fake a pregnancy. The broken helmet exposed everyone on the island to Medusoid Mycelium. [TE318]

  33. Kit Snicket died from the Medusoid Mycelium after giving birth to a baby girl. [TE320]

  34. Lemony Snicket says that his life, after concluding his investigation, involved visiting certain graves, and spending mornings on a brae looking out at the sea. “It is not the whole story, of course, but it is enough.” [TE324]

  35. The biographical information on the back cover flap of Horseradish says that, at least as of 2007, Lemony Snicket was “A life long resident, he now divides his time, and is currently at work.”

The following is a mostly complete time line of the facts and events Mr. Snicket has professed to before Publishing The Bad Beginning:

  1. Lemony Snicket was born at Valorous Farms Dairy when his parents stopped for garlic butter. The Dairy was near a “pretty deadly” lake possibly in the suburbs or city in an unknown area. [auto10]

  2. “Lemony Snicket was born in a small town where the inhabitants were suspicious and prone to riot.” [BBbiodata]

  3. Lemony Snicket grew up near the sea. [MMbiodata]

  4. His father was known as Jacob [auto11]

  5. He was taken from the kitchen in his home as a child, somewhere in the area of five years old, and carried by the ankles and facing the ground [auto13]

  6. His two siblings were also taken [auto15]

  7. Kit Snicket and Dewey Denouement say they were four years old when the schism occurred. [PP27,179]

  8. The “takers” came for him through the windows and his brother may or may not have finished his cup of tea [auto18]

  9. He was taken to join the V.F.D in a long black car with tinted windows [auto13, 19]

  10. The V.F.D took children their homes to their organization who displayed “exceptional observational and/or note taking skills”, “…isolate[d] them for long periods of time, at least from people they know…” These children were then sent to various locations all over the world to do tasks they did not necessarily understand until they were considered trustworthy and no one was looking for them anymore [auto39]

  11. Children like Snicket were contacted by the V.F.D in a variety of manners including, but not limited to, waiters uttering strange phrases, librarian’s asking about their mothers, and chests of drawers whispering to them. To confirm their interest in joining the organization, when they heard a noise outside their homes, the children would inquire as to the source of the noise and their parents would answer, if amiable, “nothing” to which the interested children were to reply, “If there’s nothing out there, then what was that noise?” and the V.F.D would proceed to take them from the home by their ankles, and traditionally, tattoo their ankles, though this practice was revised after the schism. [auto189-191]

  12. R and Snicket became friends in an infirmary after the ankles were tattooed [auto28]

  13. He was allowed to return home rarely [auto19]

  14. Lemony Snicket attended public schools and had private tutors. [Aabiodata]

  15. Lemony Snicket met Beatrice when he was 11, they had both arrived early for a class and he embarrassed her in front of her friends by telling her he thought arriving early was the mark of a noble person. He later sent her a note apologizing and inviting her out for root beer floats should she like to speak with him. [BL LS to BB#1,LS to BB#5]

  16. Beatrice evidently met him for root beer floats as he wrote her a letter during his code class sometime later in a Year of the Snake (mostly likely 1977). The class was also being taken by Olaf who was already a bully. Beatrice and R were in the room above in a theatrics class. To pass their letters, R was sometimes used as an intermediary. By the time of the second letter to Beatrice, Lemony Snicket was already very fond of her, admitting, “...I enjoy being together with you, and I miss you when we are not.” [BL LS to BB #2]

  17. Beatrice was good friends with Jerome Squalor and they went hiking up Mount Fraught with friends about 20 years before the events of The Ersatz Elevator. This may be the same trip Lemony Snickets mentions in his second letter to Beatrice. [EE26-7]

  18. Beatrice always said that Jerome was not brave. [EE257]

  19. The next letter to Beatrice was written on April 27 at some point in Lemony Snicket's life after he had turned 18 as two weeks after the letter he is planning to purpose to Beatrice, something he probably would not have done before being 18. Also, he mentions a conversation with the headmaster, probably of the V.F.D. school, about pursuing rhetoric by writing at a newspaper, presumably this would have taken place after he graduated from the school. At this point Lemony Snicket has a job at The Daily Punctilio as an assistant obituary spell checker, but, the Duchess of Winnipeg died and that somehow meant a reshuffling of staff members and Lemony correctly guessed he would be moved to theater critiques. Beatrice was preforming on stage and evidently trouble was readily apparent in their lives as they had to arrange meetings secretly through such methods as Beatrice not acknowledging him in the audience but dropping a hat pin if it would be safe for a midnight root beer float date. Beatrice wrote him sonnets. [BL LS to BB#3]

  20. It is unclear when Olaf began his life of crime or when it was discovered by other members of the V.F.D. But at one point during her life Beatrice once told Count Olaf he would fail. [PP303]

  21. At some point Olaf was Esmé's acting teacher. [EE186]

  22. By May 11th the same year he wrote to Beatrice about his job at the newspaper, Lemony intended to purpose when they next met. She was collecting evidence for the V.F.D. while touring as an actress. Lemony wrote her sonnets as well. [BL LS to BB#4]

  23. Sometime after letter #4, a few weeks after, but before letter #5, Lemony Snicket purposed at closing time at the root beer float place and Beatrice accepted.

  24. Lemony Snicket wrote a letter to Professor Patton of the Folk Song Department at Sciabin University for Musical Accuracy about the song sung about him while he was making preparations to be married.

  25. Lemony Snicket received a coded message from a Vineyard where he and Beatrice were to be married warning him that if they were married there the Count would kill them. [auto84-85]

  26. Lemony Snicket was fired from his job after giving a bad review of play called “One Last Warning To Those Who Try to Stand in My Way” by Al Funcoot and criticizing the lead actress, Esm‏é [auto81].

  27. His column was replaced by one written about secret organizations by Geraldine Julienne. She exposed at least one headquarters of the V.F.D. and seems to have also implicated him the less noble side of the schism as he became a fugitive after the article was written. [auto 3, 38, 80]

  28. Following his article about “One Last Warning To Those Who Try to Stand in My Way”, his brother Jacques sent him disguises and instructions for fleeing the country in order for Lemony to escape harm to both himself and his associates (such as D, K, and B), who he was instructed not to contact [auto96-97]

  29. Lemony Snicket was fled at least in part by disguising himself as a sailor on a ship called The Prospero [auto95,109]

  30. At some point, Beatrice wrote Lemony a 200 page book explaining in detail that she could not marry him and sent back the ring he purposed with. [BL LS to BB#5]

  31. The book and ring were delivered at night by a flock of carrier pigeons and Lemony stayed up reading over and over in misery. [MM7]

  32. I myself fell in love with a wonderful woman who was charming and intelligent and I trusted that she would be my bride, but I had no way of knowing for sure, and all too soon circumstances changed and she ended up marrying someone else, all because she believed something she read in The Daily Punctilio.” [VV74]

  33. Captain Widdershins may have had something to do with Beatrice believing the story in the paper, as Lemony Snicket says the Captain was wrong to insist that the an article in The Daily Punctilio was completely true and to show it the woman Lemony loved. [GG310]

  34. It seems that at some point in between letters #4 and #5, Beatrice became involved with Betrand Baudelaire, but it's not clear when exactly they met, or what Beatrice believed or when exactly she decided to reject Lemony or why.

  35. Lemony Snicket returns a lock of Beatrice's hair when he answers her 200 page book. He also expounds at length for how long and under what circumstances he will love her, ultimately pledging to love her forever no matter what. “That, Beatrice, is how I will love you even as the world goes on its wicked way.” “But in my case, the only thing that made sense in the world was you, and without you the world will seem as garbled and tragic as a malfunctioning typewriter.” He also says he does not know when they will see each other again. [BL LS to BB#5]

  36. Page thirteen of the Snicket File has a picture of the Baudelaire parents, Jacques, and a man who is very likely Lemony Snicket standing together. While it is unclear when this picture was taken, but the Beatrice and Bertrand were not yet wearing their wedding rings. [HH108]

  37. At some point Jacques and Lemony Snicket stayed in the guest caravan of Madam Lulu's Carnival long before the events of The Carnivorous Carnival. It would seem plausable that this happened after Lemony was no longer working for The Daily Punctilio as before that he does not seem to have traveled much.

  38. Kit Snicket wrote to Gregor Anwhistle and begged him not to cultivate theMedusiod Mycelium, even as a weapon against the treacherous side of the Schism. [GG161]

  39. Lemony Snicket recalls Beatrice thus: “I can see her now, sitting there on a small couch she used to keep in the corner of her bedroom, adjusting the straps of her sandals with one hand and munching on an apple with the other, telling me not to worry about the party beginning downstairs.” She refers to him as “Mr. Snicket” when she tells him that people like to talk about themselves so if he does not know what to say to the guests, he should just ask them about their work or code preferences. It's not clear when this took place, but her formal way of referring to him may have been as sign that it was after they broke off the engagement, or perhaps she always called him that or was joking. [TE38]

  40. Olaf locked Ishmael in a large birdcage once, and told him he would triumph. Ichmael believed that Olaf set fire to his home, but Olaf denies this. [250, 253-534]

  41. Ishmael was a member of the V.F.D. on the noble side of the schism and a pacifist but was in a bathyscaphe that was destroyed because Lemony Snicket misinterpreted some sausages that a waiter was arranging. This is likely the reason he ended up shipwrecked on the Island. [PP266, TE218]

  42. Beatrice and Bertrand washed ashore on the coastal shelf of the Island and became it's facilitators a few months before Ishmael washed up. They started the Library under the apple tree, a water filtration system to procure fresh water, had a periscope installed in the tree to look for storms, and began a tunnel to Anwhistle Aquatics. [TE 219]

  43. When Beatrice was pregnant with Violet, the Baudelaires hybridized the apple tree with horseradish as a precaution against Medsciod Mycelium but were ultimately forced off the island because some of the castaways preferred to keep the Island isolated from the troubles of the world. The castaways were going to use violence but Ishmael convinced them to just abandon the Baudelaires on the coastal shelf in time for the annual flooding. [TE 221-22]

  44. Beatrice says that she is heartbroken to leave the island, but she has been heartbroken before. Probably a reference to her romance with Lemony. [TH:14,1]

  45. Lemony Snicket's final message to Beatrice was a telegram he sent in the late summer of when she was pregnant with Violet. He comments that he has not contacted her for several years and wishes her a healthy child, but his main purpose is to warn her of something. [BL LS to BB#6]

  46. both Jacques then Lemony served aboard the Queequeg after Fiona's mother died. [GG43]

  47. Kit Snicket passed the Baudelaire parents a box of poison darts during the intermission of a performance of the opera La Forza del Destino while avoiding detection by Esmé. This happened when the elder Baudelaire children were old enough to remember. [PP8-9]

  48. Lemony Snicket left an opera before he could be spotted by an actress. It was most likely La Forza del Destino, the same night the Baudelaire parents attended and he was likely avoiding Esmé. He wondered if life was guided by destiny or something even more mysterious, dangerous, and unfortunate. [PP18]

  49. Olaf believe the Baudelaire parents did something treacherous with some poison darts at a night at the opera, and, that is the weapon that left him an orphan. [PP 211, 308]

  50. One day when Sunny was only a few weeks old, the whole family went to the financial district. It was very hot and while Beatrice went inside one of the buildings, Bertrand stayed with the kids by a fountain. Sunny was hot and cranky so he dipped her in the fountain and soon the whole family, even Beatrice when she came out, ended up splashing in the fountain. Not far from them, a woman posing as a pretzel vendor took a picture of the family and put it in the coat pocket of a financial expert. It was taken out again by a coat check boy when the man went to dinner. The coat check boy hid it in a parfait glass full of fruit that was supposed to be given to a certain playwright for desert. However, a waitress dumped it in an alley garbage can. Lemony Snicket was in the alley pretending to look for a lost puppy who was actually a woman in disguise. [TE107-108]

  51. Inside the financial building, Beatrice was given a weather report and a naval map which she examined later and discovered coming treachery. [TE 107]

  52. Beatrice Baudelaire and Bertrand Baudelaire died in their home when it was burned to the ground while their children were at Briny Beach. [BB8-9]

  53. “I am alone this evening, and I alone because of a cruel twist in fate, a phrase that here means that nothing has happened the way I thought it would. Once I was a content man, with a comfortable home, a successful career, a person I loved very much, and an extremely reliable typewriter, but all of those things have been taken away from me, and now the only trace I have of those happy days is the tattoo my left ankle. As I sit here in this very tiny room, printing these words with this very large pencil, I feel as if my whole life has been nothing but a dismal play, presented just for someone else's amusement and that the playwright who invented my cruel twist of fate is somewhere far above me, laughing and laughing at his creation.” [HH213-214]


    (Two important events in Lemony Snicket's life that are nearly impossible to place are a certain masque ball and the theft of the sugar bowl. The only thing that is known for certain is that they took place before the fire that killed the Baudelaire parents because Beatrice is involved in both of them:)
  54. Beatrice had tea with Esmé on a Thursday and Lemony Sniket would hop if he would go back and prevent it. This is possibly because the tea date was when Esmé thought Beatrice stole her sugar bowl. However, Lemony states that he still feels very guilty for stealing the sugar bowl. It is unclear if Beatrice and Lemony were working together to obtain the sugar bowl or if Beatrice was not involved, but Esmé never learned that Lemony was the one who took it. [HH33, HH91,PP221]

  55. Lemony Snicket was dressed as a bull fighter at a masked ball held by the Duchess of Winnipeg, his friend R. He ran from palace guards that were dressed as scorpions and on the veranda told Beatrice (dressed as a dragonfly) something about Count Olaf that he had waited 15 years to say but could not bring himself to repeat while writing The Austere Academy. The police did not confiscate his belongings later and the Duchess kept them until her house was destroyed by fire. The things he left at the time of his capture were: the bullfighting costume, a typewriter, a box of wigs, a suit that disguised him as a chest of drawers, a fake wooden leg, and a blue accordion. [AA167-8, Auto25-26]

  56. From a list of rejected openings to The Series of Unfortunate Events: “Once upon a time, after a confusing if exciting childhood, I met a woman, fell in love, and was never happy again.” [auto177]

Lemony Snicket and Time

I set out to create the most comprehensive timeline possible for dealing with Lemony Snicket's life, this of course proved very problematic first of all due to Mr. Snicket's lack of references to dates, indeed, before too long when I sat about my apartment having moved the furniture to make a nice large space (the table had already proved inadequate), I found myself wishing that Mr. Snicket dated all his life facts using Mayan calenderical glyphs--something I assure you I have never wished before. The Mayans were very meticulous about dating their inscriptions and employed a number of different time/calender systems such that it is easy to know exactly when something happened in the Mayan world. Of course deciphering Mayan glyphs is something I find particularly hard since I have always been horrible at reading other people's hand writing and all of the Mayan dates are hand written.  Regrettably, the nature of Mr. Snickets works did not allow him to be as chronologically conscious as the Mayans.

But far more troubling than large piles of note cards with few, if any dates, was the fact that Mr. Snicket wrote on more than one level of time. What I mean by this is that, the dates of publication are hard dates, the events in the books have to have taken place before the book was published, however, Mr. Snicket also uses some of his later works to communicate with his sister, even though he referenced knowing things that happened long after the events of previous books, too long after to reconcile the two. I will give specific examples of this later on, but, basically, he wrote The Carnivorous Carnival when his sister was alive and able to be communicated with via print, and yet, wrote The Miserable Mill  knowing that neither he nor the Baudelaires would ever see Sir's face and wrote The Austere Academy after Prufrock Prep had been closed, something that did not happen until after The Penultimate Peril. While some would dismiss these contrary facts as due to the fact that Mr. Snicket's research could never be perfect or complete (or silly things like that he is not real and nor are any of the things in his books), I have come up with an alternative point of view, the two layered time point of view.

I will work along the theory that most facts about Lemony Snicket (and the Baudelaires) can be ordered along The Immersed Character time, that is, with the events all happening rather recently in Mr. Snicket's life and without his knowing what ultimately happened in the course of his writing. The second level I am calling Quasi-Omniscient Narrator time which refers to instances when Mr. Snicket writes from a time long removed from the events of his story and knows things beyond the reasonable means of a man frantically researching under distress in the midst of an unfolding story (like whether or not The Baudelaire's ever saw Sir's face).

Works to Be Cited

the following file on Lemony Snicket cites a number of sources, mainly Lemony Snicket's published works, the citations will tend to use the two letters of the main title of Snickets books, ie The Wide Window would be (WW), The Beatrice Letters lacks page numbers and thus citations include BL for the title and then the file name of the letter, ie BB to LS#3. Chapter 14 of The End has it's own entry and is cited as such because the numbers start over, and, luckily, it has its own copyright date. The Autobiography is cited as (Auto) and Horserashish: The Bitter Truth is cited as (Horseradish).

In the event more sources are used they will be added to this list later on. If you come across an uncited fact that warrants citation, or that you wish for citation information on, FOR THE LOVE OF PUTTING OUT FIRES, comment and say so. All volunteers are needed on this project, however depressing it may be to work on.

Works Cited:

McLaughlin, Lisa and Lev Grossman. “Q&A DANIEL HANDLER”. Time 168. 15 (Oct 9 2006): p85-85

Snicket, Lemony. “Chapter 14” The End New York: HaperColins Publishers, 2006.

Snicket, Lemony. Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can’t Avoid. New York: HaperColins Publishers, 2007.

Snicket Lemony. Lemony Snicket’s Unauthorized Autobiography. New York: HaperColins Publishers, 2002.

Snicket, Lemony. The Austere Academy. New York: HaperColins Publishers, 2000.

Snicket, Lemony. The Bad Beginning. New York: HaperColins Publishers, 1999.

Snciket, Lemony. The Beatrice Letters. New York: HaperColins Publishers, 2006.

Snicket, Lemony. The Carnivorous Carnival. New York: HaperColins Publishers, 2002.

Snicket, Lemony. The End. New York: HaperColins Publishers, 2006.

Snicket, Lemony. The Ersatz Elevator. New York: HaperColins Publishers, 2001.

Snicket, Lemony. The Grim Grotto. New York: HaperColins Publishers, 2004

Snicket, Lemony. The Horrible Hospital. New York: HaperColins Publishers, 2001.

Snicket, Lemony. The Miserable Mill. New York: HaperColins Publishers, 2000.

Snicket, Lemony. The Reptile Room. New York: HaperColins Publishers, 1999.

Snicket, Lemony. The Penultimate Peril. New York: HaperColins Publishers, 2005.

Snicket, Lemony. The Slippery Slope New York: HaperColins Publishers, 2003.

Snicket, Lemony. The Vile Village. New York: HaperColins Publishers, 2001.

Snicket, Lemony. The Wide Window. New York: HaperColins Publishers, 2000.

Tison Pugh. "What, Then, Does Beatrice Mean?: Hermaphroditic Gender, Predatory Sexuality, and Promiscuous Allusion in Daniel Handler/Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events." Children's Literature 36 (2008): 162-184. Project MUSE. Lockwood Memorial Library, Buffalo, NY. 12 Mar. 2009 <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.