Lemony Snicket is the pen name of author Daniel Handler for the children’s books The Series of Unfortunate Events. As Series progresses through 13 books, Lemony Snicket also emerges as a character in each novel, as the narrator of the trials and tribulations of the three Baudelaire children.
The Lemony Snicket pen name actually precedes Handler’s authorship of the books. Handler used the name to subscribe to publications and right wing organizations as part of research for a book he was writing. Handler’s friends enjoyed the name so much they used to use it themselves to order pizzas.
Since Handler wanted to experiment with children’s literature and the “author as character” genre, he decided to use the Lemony Snicket name for Series. Along with the actual stories there are plenty of Lemony Snicket jokes along the way, which flesh out his character.
The Lemony Snicket official website has numerous “facts” regarding Snicket. These facts include hints of his closer relationship with the Baudelaire children. He claims he was an orphan, one of three siblings, and grew up with a terrible villain.
We also know as the books progress that Lemony Snicket was once in love with the mother of the Baudelaire children, before her marriage. He was with Beatrice, the children’s mother, before she died and helped her to start a fire, so Snicket is also wanted for arson. Each book in Series begins with a dedication to Beatrice, both humorous and morose.
In the final book of The End we also find that Lemony Snicket is the uncle of the child adopted by the Baudelaire children, who is also named Beatrice Baudelaire. A companion book The Beatrice Letters reveals information about the young Beatrice Baudelaire in a series of letters she writes to her uncle.
Though the Series novels are indeed grim, they have won Lemony Snicket and thus his creator Daniel Handler much popularity. Handler’s books have been second only to the Harry Potter series in sales of children’s books. As well, more than any other author with a created character/pseudonym, Handler has played with this concept. By writing hints and giving phony interviews along the way, Handler has made Lemony Snicket an endearing and memorable fictional character.
Since mysteries still remain, speculation exists as to whether Lemony Snicket might appear again at some later time. The Beatrice Letters leaves many unanswered questions, and perhaps Beatrice Baudelaire might become a character in her own right.
Most suspect that Handler may return to Lemony Snicket works at some future date. However, Handler has also published several adult novels, and his attention at the moment seems fixed on writing for a more adult audience.