2. And Handler’s pen name has a slightly bizarre origin story.
When researching for his first novel, The Basic Eight, Handler contacted a right-wing religious organisation looking for information. He didn’t want them to keep his name on their mailing list so, when asked for his name, he spontaneously said “Lemony Snicket”.
4. Handler wasn’t originally thrilled by the idea of writing books for children.
He was approached by an editor at HarperCollins in 1997, who had met him previously and was looking for new and exciting children’s authors. When she first approached him about writing for children, he straight up said no.
7. There are a few spin-offs to the series, if you’re ready to read into the mystery a little bit deeper…
9. Handler found inspiration for A Series of Unfortunate Events in the works of writer and illustrator Edward Gorey.
In fact, he sent advance copies of the first two books to Gorey, alongside a note “saying that I hoped that I would be forgiven for all that I had stolen from his works”.
12. Similarly, most of Sunny’s seemingly incoherent ramblings are actually often references to pop culture.
In the tenth book in the series, The Slippery Slope, Snicket translates Sunny’s outburst of “Busheney” to mean “you’re an evil man with no concern whatsoever for other people”. “Busheney” is referencing the partnership of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
13. It’s no accident that there are very few physical descriptions of Violet throughout the series.
Handler didn’t want to draw attention to her appearance, because he “figured that girls start to get nervous about their own physical details soon enough”. He decided instead to give Violet the identifier of tying her hair up with a ribbon whenever she is inventing something.
14. There’s a fan theory that all the adults in the series are actually immortal.
I mean, at least the ones who aren’t dead.
The theory basically stems from the fact that Lemony Snicket claims to know people who lived at various times throughout history. If you’re interested, you can read up on it further here!
15. Another fan theory – one which is widely accepted as canon, though never confirmed in the series – is that the Baudelaire orphans’ parents killed Count Olaf’s parents.
We know that Count Olaf’s parents were killed by poison darts based on information we’re given in The Penultimate Peril – and, in the same book, Kit Snicket (sister of Lemony, of course) recounts a story of meeting the Baudelaire parents at the opera and slipping them a box of poison darts.
16. Speaking of the opera, there’s a reason why there are so many mentions of the opera throughout the series.
Daniel Handler’s parents met in a box seat at an opera performance, and he performed in operas as a child!