|“||Remember, you are my last hope that the tales of the Baudelaire orphans can finally be told to the general public.||”|
The thirteen chapters of Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography may be read in any order.
It is unknown how or when they contacted Lemony Snicket for publishing A Series of Unfortunate Events. It is also unknown how they gathered the manuscript for The Bad Beginning. They are consistently told, at the end of all of Snicket's letters, that they are the last hope that the tales of the Baudelaire orphans will finally be told to the general public.
Snicket contacted them from the London branch of the Herpetological Society where he was attempting to track Monty Montgomery's reptile collection, to inform them that the transcript of The Reptile Room would be placed by an associate of his in a small waterproof box in the phone booth of the Elektra Hotel at 11pm the next Thursday, and that it would need to be retrieved before midnight to avoid it falling into the wrong hands. Also in the box would be a map of Lousy Lane, a copy of Zombies in the Snow, Dr. Montgomery's recipe for coconut cream cake, and one of the few photographs of Dr. Lucafont.
The next letter to the Editor was sent from the shores of Lake Lachrymose, while Snicket was examining the remains of Josephine Anwhistle's house. He instructs them to go to the Café Kafka at 4pm the next Wednesday to order a pot of jasmine tea from the tallest waiter on duty. He says that unless his enemies have succeeded, the waiter will bring them a large envelope instead of tea, inside of which would include The Wide Window, a sketch of Curdled Cave, a small bag of shattered glass, the menu from The Anxious Clown, and a test tube containing one (1) Lachrymose Leech. He warns that under no circumstances should the test tube be opened.
From Paltryville Town Hall, Snicket writes next that he has convinced the mayor to allow him inside the eye-shaped office of Dr. Orwell in order to continue his investigation. The next Friday, the Editor is to break into a black jeep in the northwest corner of the parking lot of the Orion Observatory. In the glove compartment is The Miserable Mill, some information on hypnosis, a surgical mask, sixty-eight sticks of gum, and a blueprint of the pincher machine.
The next letter received was torn at the edges, as the crabs from the Orphans Shack tried to snatch Snicket's stationary away from him. He tells the Kind Editor on the next Sunday night to purchase a ticket for seat 10-J at the Erratic Opera Company's performance of the opera Faute de Mieux. During Act Five, they are to use a sharp knife to rip open the cushion of their seat, where they would find The Austere Academy, a cafeteria tray, some of the Baudelaires' handmade staples, the worthless jewel from Coach Genghis's turban, and the negative for a photograph of the two Quagmire Triplets.
Snicket then sends a letter on ridiculously fancy and ocean-themed stationary from 667 Dark Avenue, as it was the only paper available in the neighborhood. He prays that the next manuscript will reach the Editor, and then instructs them on how to fetch it; on not the next Tuesday, but the Tuesday following that, they must purchase a first-class, one-way ticket on the second-to-last train out of the city. Instead of boarding the train, they must wait until it departs and climb down to teh tracks to retrieve The Ersatz Elevator, one of Jerome Squalor's neckties, a small photograph of Veblen Hall, a bottle of Parsley Soda, and the Doorman's coat.
Snicket writes his next letter from the Fowl Fountain in the Village of Fowl Devotees, where the Quagmire triplets were hidden. He says that the next time the Editor runs out of milk, to buy a new carton at Cash Register #19 of the Not-very-Supermarket. When they arrive at home, they will find, tucked into their grocery sack, The Vile Village, a burnt-out torch, a tip of a harpoon, a chart of the migration paths of the V.F.D. Crows, and a copy of the official portrait of the Council of Elders.
The Editor then receives a telegram from Snicket, as they are the quickest way to deliver a message from the Last Chance General Store. The next time the Editor is invited to a party, they are to wear their third nicest suit and pretend to notice a spot. The next day, they must take the suit to the dry cleaners fo cleaning, and when they come to pick it up, they will instead receive a shopping bag containing The Hostile Hospital, an intercom speaker, one of the lamps mistakenly delivered to Hal, a popped heart-shaped balloon and a sketch of the Library of Records.
The next letter is missing specific information, as it seems to have been mangled by ferocious and deadly creatures near where Snicket was hiding- possibly Volunteer Feline Detectives. What is known is there is something thirteen hundred, nineteen and one-half miles (2,123.53 km) from the restaurant where the Editor celebrated their most recent birthday, they had to exchange something near a laundromat or a jewelry store, and find a woman with a long mustache. She will give them the complete manuscript of The Carnivorous Carnival, a satchel containing something, something that the Editor should under no circumstances repair, something labelled "the last", something relating to a survivor of the Baudelaire Fire, and sketches of Chabo the Wolf Baby and Madame Lulu.
The next letter is also incomplete, as Snicket's typewritten ribbon ink froze occasionally in the Valley of Four Drafts. He says that it is not safe to put the entirety of The Slippery Slope in one place, and the Editor will have to find each individual chapter in different places. They must tell someone "The world is [quiet here]", and she will give them a key, which will help them find the first chapter, a rare photograph of a swarm of (presumably) Snow Gnats, and they should UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES [unknown].
The watery quality of the next letter also makes it difficult to read, as the ink he was using was soaked with salt water from the ocean and, occasionally, his own tears. He investigated the damaged Queequeg, and he hopes the rest of the letter will not wash away.
Several letters, on Hotel Denouement parchment paper, are included half-torn, so it is unknown exactly what the Kind Editor had to do to reach The Penultimate Peril. Snicket fears his enemies are close, including one "with extremely long fingers," trying to prevent the Editor from reading the next manuscript. He tells the Editor that Lousy Lane ends in a cul-de-sac, where there is a gas station attendant who may help the Editor reach the complete manuscript, and someone or something should not be allowed anywhere near a match.
Another letter is later sent, more torn, apologizing for something and doubting information, telling the Editor and instead of dri[ving?] they must do something near or in a field of daisies, dig straight down, and find book the twelfth.
A third letter is sent, with "third time's the charm," saying that there is an alleyway behind [something], which provides an excellent hiding spot for the next dreadful story. The Edtior must NOT USE THE ete[...?]
The fourth letter- "fourth time's the charm", instructs the Editor on how to again find The Penultimate Peril, saying that on the top of the curviest [something], there is a cup of very bitter tea, which will help them find the manuscript.
The fifth incomplete letter directing on how to find the twelfth book claims that this time Snicket is certain that [something] will be impossible to destroy. The Editor must go to a Galway Kennel, find the [dog?] that barks the loudest, and that will help them find the next chapter in the Baudelaires' unfortunate lives.
A sixth and final letter is sent, more torn than the rest, which says something about "the last safe place" [possibly Sunny Baudelaire's quote, "the last safe place is safe no more"], something about the laundry of the Hotel Denouement, and the title of something.
The next letter found to the Kind Editor simply says, in a typewritten font:
- The end of THE END can be found at the end of THE END.
At some point, the editor received Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography. Lemony sent a note asking to rewrite the editor's note to say that the thirteen chapters should not be read at all, but instead the editor noted that the chapters could be read in any order. Snicket also asks that another editor's note be rewritten to say some of the photographs in the book were not taken by Julie Blattberg; the other editor's note says that some of the photographs in the book were taken by Julie Blattberg.
Afterwards, it seems the Editor received something containing The Beatrice Letters; a routing slip is found, marking off that it contains letters to Beatrice, letters from Beatrice, letters RE:Beatrice, and sonnet(s), and is not written entirely in code, nor does it contain approval or disapproval. With instructions, it is marked that it is for the editor's information, not for their signature, not written entirely in code, and that it should be destroyed, numerous copies should be made, and it may contain clues. Snicket also does not check the box for the editor to meet him in an arranged spot.
He includes one more message, written that the material is top secret and only for readers deeply interested in the Baudelaire case, who he pities. He also marks the date as BB.
At the end of The Beatrice Letters file is a final letter to the editor, with the date stated as "today." He says that he broke into a warehouse, looking all night under several different labels to find a proper file. Finally, he looked under the name of the poet, which was a simple answer, but "sometimes the simplest things in life are the most difficult to imagine." For example, as he loved Beatrice so much, it never occurred to him that there could be more than one Beatrice Baudelaire, and that the letters to and for both Beatrices could explain each other, which is why he began work on the file.
He has found the same scrap of paper he once examined in a glass case, and years before that, in the hallway of a library, with the scrap of paper located in a glass case. He says the missing sonnet is like a missing sock- it had been lost for so long that everything else had completely unraveled in its absense. He may never be able to solve all the mysteries of the world, but he must at least finish the file he has begun.
He has completed his file, though it cost him much emotional effort, and the letters contained have many secrets which could be dangerous. He says that he does not know when he will write the editor again, and cannot even initial his paper, in case it gets lost. He then finishes his final note with:
|“||Strange as it may seem, I still hope for the best, even though the best, like an interesting piece of mail, so rarely arrives, and even when it does it can be lost so easily.||”|
The identity of the Kind Editor has been the subject of much fan speculation.
- A popular theory is that the editor is Moxie Mallahan, due to her previously close relationship with Lemony Snicket and her self-proclaimed occupation as a Newspaper Editor. However, she did not seem to end on good terms with Snicket following the death of Hangfire, and in a 2015 Q&A, Snicket claimed that he has not seen Moxie since the events of All the Wrong Questions, though he hopes to reunite with her.
- It is possible that the editor is an in-universe version of Daniel Handler's editor, Susan Rich, as in-universe versions of Handler, Brett Helquist and Meredith Heuer are mentioned as existing, and Helquist himself is mentioned in multiple letters to the editor.
It is likely that the Editor is not a member of VFD, as they have to be instructed on certain V.F.D. Codes, such as the location of the jeep at the Orion Observatory, which most apprentices are trained with knowledge of.
- They do not seem to appear in the 2004 Paramount film adaptation or Netflix 2017-2019 television adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events.
- PROSE: The Bad Beginning
- PROSE: The Reptile Room
- PROSE: The Wide Window
- PROSE: The Miserable Mill
- PROSE: The Austere Academy
- PROSE: The Ersatz Elevator
- PROSE: The Vile Village
- PROSE: The Hostile Hospital
- PROSE: The Carnivorous Carnival
- PROSE: The Slippery Slope
- PROSE: The Grim Grotto
- PROSE: The Penultimate Peril
- PROSE: Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography
- PROSE: The Beatrice Letters
- PROSE: Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights?
- Lemony Snicket Library