“It was a lovely morning in Austin, Texas, and my friends arrived to this beautiful spot called Josephine’s House for brunch. We immediately fell in love with the decor and sight of delicious pastries. It was the perfect place to gather and celebrate one of my dearest friends before she got married.” - Linda Kim
Did Lemony stalk the Baudelaire orphans from his taxi?
The very first discovery readers make about the mythology of “A Series Of Unfortunate Events” is, naturally, the purpose of its semi-fictional narrator:
Who is he?
What does he want?
When did he start recording the lives of the Baudelaire orphans?
Why do they matter to him?
We do get an answer to all of these mysteries, in “The End”.
But these are all the wrong questions.
The real question is: “Can we, as a reader, trust the benevolent image he tries to project?”
There is indeed a difference between giving the facts and telling the truth. And when it comes down to it, there is something unseemly about the idea of a grown man exposing these children’s darkest turmoils for the benefit of complete strangers. Without apparent consent, no less.
Let’s embark together on a troubling journey and retrace Lemony’s investigation, step by step. We will analyze his methods; we will question his motives. And we will paint a very different picture of Mr Snicket’s works than the one he wants us to believe… after the cut.
The news paper clippings on Snickets wall in the miserable mill, what do they all say?
Hello! I’ve broken them down just to make it easier to read:
Noted Scientist Dies of Snake Allergies- Dr Montgomery Montgomery Hated the Slimy Creatures:
There has been much speculation in the media this week as world renowned herpetologist Dr. Montgomery Montgomery was found dead in his Reptile Atrium in the late afternoon. Police and a coroner did confirm that he died from a snake bite that contained very deadly venom. It has been speculated that Montgomery died from snake allergies
… being allergic to the snake. It is due from the deadly venom that is injected by the snake and into the blood stream that causes death. Many believe that ‘allergies’ however he said if that was the case then everyone in the universe would then be ‘allergic’ to snakes. He claims many are confused by this and he isn’t sure why. The herpetologist refused to try and explain it
… investigating the fire even though they are sure it was nothing more than just a terrible fire leading to a series of unfortunate events for the children. It has been a short time since the Baudelaire’s parents tragically perished in a blazing fire that took their lives and also their home.
Veronica, Klyde and Susie still remain orphans. Mr Poe the husband of the great Eleanor Poe our Editor-In-Chief here at the Daily Punctilio is currently looking after the children till their closest living relative is found for them to live with. The children were seen standing in the ruins of their home. Sifting through ash and rubble looking for their belongings they can take with them on their new adventure as orphans. It looks like the children are trying to find reminders of their past life and parents.
Lakeside Home Destroyed- Authorities Blame Cabal of Real Estate Agents:
Reported by Special Correspondent Bo Wilch.
However we are finally not reporting about another house fire instead many are speculating that this disaster was much worse. Josephine Anwhistle and her house tore apart and crashed into the jagged cliff rocks below into Lake Lachrymose where the leeches were waiting and ate Josephine alive. Perishing in a fire would have been much better compared to being eaten alive by deadly leeches. She succumbed to the same death as her husband who also died by the leeches.
Again another caretaker of the Baudelaire children has died. Somehow these children seem to be in the middle of a series of unfortunate events. Many speculate that somehow Count Olaf is also involved, police have yet to confirm this. Josephine was an Aunt to the Baudelaire children and now she is a distant memory just like her house. Police have now started to investigate the children seeing as they are always involved in their guardians death. They keep insisting that Count Olaf is the one to kill their guardian in order to kill them in order to kill them in order to steal their fortune.
Perhaps the children killed their parents, killed Dr Montgomery Montgomery, and now killed their Aunt Josephine to protect their fortune from anyone trying to steal it.
Snicket, Author and Fugitive, Dead!
… And eventually turned to murder. Though there has not been enough evidence to support these claims police are more than sure like pretty sure it was Snicket.
… this afternoon” - Klyde.
“Our mother Beatrice has suggested we go to Briny Beach to enjoy the sunshine as if she knew we shouldn’t be in the house. I would never have thought that those would be our last words spoken to each other. I wish I could have hugged her for just a moment longer before letting go of her”- Veronica
We are not sure … Susie the children’s in a very exciting night has occurred at the Grand Theatre this evening. Count Olaf a local performer at the Grand Theatre staged the Marvelous Marriage. The play featured Count Omar as the Groom, Veronica as the bride, and some other folks as extras! What seemed to be a very boring play at the beginnign it sure sure turned out to be more exciting in the end in the final act, Count Locations where Snicket has been hiding out had been found with an alarming amount of research on the Baudelaire children. It is unclear at the time what his research…
Accident At Lucky Smells
One of Paltryville’s ctizen has gone missing inside Lumbermill believe to have been an accident
One of Paltryville’s citizen has gone missing inside the Lucky Smells Lumbermill detectives believe foul play may have been involved.
Due to circumstances surrounding the incident the victim’s name cannot be released at this time. Trouble in Paltryville began when three orphaned children Baudelaire showed up in town young may guessed it the Baudelaire children. After countless troubles with the children they were given an opportunity of a life time and were given the chance to work alongside Sir at world renowned Lucky Smells Lumbermill. Lucky Smells has received praise all around the world for the quality of lumber they supply and the outstanding customer service…
… Indeed if a snake killed him however another popular theory are the Baudelaire children were somehow involved.
They were later taken and given to their Aunt Josephine who also has perished due to her falling off a cliff she had lived on with her late husband that succumbed to the Lake Lachrymose leeches. as you can guess the…
So I suppose the real question is what don’t they say?
Josephine M. Hagerty House by Walter Gropius 1938.
This is another house designed by Walter Gropius and the first house commissioned by his German based architecture firm Bauhaus built in the United States. It was built in 1938 and is placed in Cohasset Massachusetts overlooking the Massachusetts Bay. This house design was a great choice to encompass the beautiful landscape of the bay area due to its floor to ceiling glass windows at the back of the home. It was one of the first examples of foreign design within the United States. It is understanding how this design became popular over the decades after this one was built. it was able to bring the outside in with the large windows and show off the surrounding area of the bay.
Found this online last night O_O This model is HUGE! I thought it would be a bit smaller since there is one circulating the internet that has said model on stilts hanging over the cliff, but this thing is ENORMOUS O_O STILL trying to wrap my brain around what style of house this is. It’s got odd sloping walls like a pirate ship, almost a Gothic-Victorian or Italianate style in the roof, but the windows are kind of Georgian in style. I don’t know!
Slackin’ with the Sleuth:
Reviewing Netflix’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events”
As much as we like to pontificate over bad page-to-screen adaptations, the idea of involving the original author in the delicate process of translating literature to film language is not as fullproof as one might think. Does said author even understand what made his book work? Not necessarily. Would a novelist know what makes a good movie tick? Rarely, if ever.
But when a second adaptation of “A Series Of Unfortunate Events” came along, and when Daniel Handler became part of its writing team, fans across the globe allowed themselves a faint breath of optimism. Daniel had written no less than two original movie scripts before (Rick and Kill the poor), and his unfortunate experience on the first adaptation had given him a testing round, so to speak: this time, he would know what worked and what didn’t. With the last book in the series published over a decade ago, he even had a chance to, perhaps, improve and revise the source material.
The end result is aggravating, baffling, conceited, dreadful, exasperating, flacid, grim, horrifying, irritating, jittery, klutzy, long-winded, malicious, nerve-wracking, ostentatious, petty, querulous, rash, sinister, tepid, unrefined, vapid, wasteful, xylophone, yamn-inducing, zonked — and probably the best thing you’ll watch this year.
Sometimes time felt like a prankster, a mischievous little thing, specially when you’re waiting. Minutes
become hours, seconds to minutes, and as she stared at her reflection
the girl couldn’t help but start picking at her appearance, finding more
and more flaws the more she looked. There was wrinkle on her suit, they
would probably think she was a slob if she didn’t bother fixing it, her
‘natural look’ makeup had failed to cover the tiny birthmark under her
left eye, her just freshly washed hair would have looked shinier if she
had accepted the maid’s advice to let the coconut oil sit for a few more
minutes, her right boot was more polished than her left… She could
have continued, but finally the door opened to put an end to her nitpicking. A woman walked towards her, a beautiful one that on first sight
would have just looked like an elegant sophisticated lady, but on a
closer look, hidden behind her delicate long dress and jewelry, was the
body of a someone who didn’t just spent their life drinking tea and
Her arms were covered in bracelets and silk sleeves to hide the various scars covering her skin, there was a slight hint of a limp on her walk, and her face was caked in god-knows how many layers of foundation and powder to hide an old burn mark on the left side of her face. Still, her smile hid those flaws better than any silk or jewelry, almost glowing with pride as she ran her left hand - and only hand- over her daughter’s hair. ‘‘It’s time.’‘ She whispered, wrapping an arm around her shoulders to guide her to where the others awaited anxiously for her. In an attempt to control and hide her growing anxiety, the girl focused on the details of the hall, which had been decorated with many, many white flowers to symbolize her innocence and purity. Her mother picked up a crown of white roses and placed it on her daughter’s hair. ‘‘Chin up, eyes froward and back straight, young lady.’‘ She instructed, quickly fixing her hair as the doors opened for them.
‘‘The Aguillard’s heir: Eris Aguillard.’‘ A butler declared loud and clear, silencing the room and the girl took that short moment to take in the crowd. There were were only about 20 people in the room, only half of them adults and the rest about her age, all staring at her with amusement or boredom, but all of the adults had two things in common. The first; they were all very obviously of wealthy families, wearing their best clothing an jewelry for this occasion, and the second; just like her mother, all of them hid scars and missing limbs behind expensive clothes and twinkling jewels. Eris walked in with all the elegance and coldness that had been imposed to her ever since she learned how to walk, not looking into anybody’s eyes as she walked towards the only chair in the room. Their living room had been cleaned off any furniture just for that event, making that chair and her the center of all attention as she took her seat. She didn’t bothered feeling insulted by the boredom apparent in the faces of some of the guests, she couldn’t blame them, it probably wasn’t very fun to watch a girl sitting on a chair for half an hour. She certainly wasn’t having more fun than them.
Watching from a corner in the room, the second child of the Aguillard’s, Fay, only one year younger than Eris herself, watched his sister with a sad yet caring smile. How cruel yet fitting of them, it was like throwing a party for a prisoner about to be hung, he mused o himself. The guests talked about her clothes, her luscious hair, complimenting her strong and icy expression and how she would surely bring great honors to the family, like her parents once had. Hair, clothes and expression, it was almost as if they were just having a nice pleasant tea party.
The young man’s smile soured a bit, watching the star of everybody’s
attention tightening her grip on the arms of the chair, even though her
expression never betrayed any emotion. He had to give it to her, she was
a great actress. Their eyes met for moments and he took that opportunity to give her a bright smile and thumbs up, which she responded with an hesitant half smile.
‘‘Dear friends.’‘ Eris jumped slightly as her mother rested her hand on her shoulder, her cold hand sending chills down her back. ‘‘We’ve reunited here to celebrate a very special occasion! My dearest Eris-’‘ She smiled down at her daughter and Eris wished she could take a photo. Such smiles were so rare nowadays. ‘‘She has finally turned 20, and today we’re here to welcome her to our elite, to celebrate her initiation into adulthood.’‘ Everybody raised their glasses at her, already used to this speech - and Josephine from the Walter’s house had also just hit her twenties last week, so the speech was still fresh in their ears. Adulthood. A word that in most families meant their children’s first step into the adult world, responsibilities, getting a job, finding a partner and starting their own family, it was said with a mix of excitement and fear. Eris wouldn’t be able to get a partner until much later on tho, the boy thought dreadfully, she wouldn’t have the experience of working on shot retail, or at a cafe, making her first attempts on building serious relationships, suffer true rejection, adopt a pet to keep her company in lovely nights, going out with friends for a drink….. that wouldn’t be part of her life for a long time. Because in their family and in a few others, adulthood had a much darker meaning to it.
The rest of the ceremony was as boring as any other, with speech after overly-dramatic speech, because her mother was an actress at heart and couldn’t just say ‘I’m proud of you’ without doing an half an hour speech. The guests were starting to get tired of standing and if it was not for the butlers handing treats and liquor, the complains would be quite louder. Even Eris found herself fidgeting only to quickly scold herself for the unlady-like behavior. Fay on the other hand, when he wasn’t yawning on his corner, would start making faces to his sister when nobody was looking, managing to at the least make the corners of her lips tilt upwards. It was with relief that everybody saw Miss Aguillard pick up her white crown of flowers and drop it in a plate full of a red liquid resembling blood, the final procedure. She waited for the flowers to be completely coated in red before picking them up again, shaking off the excess.
The wet and dripping crown was placed back on her head and it took all of her self-control to not cringe and wince as the red liquid soaked her carefully styled hair, dripping down her face and neck, probably staining her clothes forever. ‘’Your years of innocence are over, for you are no longer a child but a woman and a soon to be warrior, sure to bring honor to our family like all your ancestors did before.’‘ Her mother declared, and her youngest son couldn’t help but groan, covering his face in secondhand shame and some of the guests standing nearby him chuckled quietly, giving him sympathetic paths in the back. Their small crowd clapped, mostly out of politeness and because they couldn’t wait for that to be over with, Miss Aguillard still oblivious to everybody’s boredom and discomfort.
Eris was finally allowed to stand up, but not to remove her bloody crown, forced to smile politely as one by one the guests offered her compliments and good luck for her journey, shaking her hand a bit too quickly as they proceeded to rush to the bouffet table. Someone poked her side, a wide teasing grin caught by the corner of her eyes« alerting her of his presence before he even spoke. ‘‘Why, you look absolutely marvelous today, sis.’‘ Fay teased, watching as another drop of red drew a long line from her forehead to her nose. ‘‘Tho I must say, red isn’t really your color.’‘ Fay was the complete opposite of her, while everything about her sharp and cold, from her serious dark blue eyes, short black hair and straight posture, he was all light and warm, with a permanent smile on his face, light almond eyes and shoulder length blond hair. The only thing they had in common was how tall they both were, with Fay still managing to be taller than her tho, tricking people into thinking he was the oldest - much to his sister’s frustration.
‘‘I’d like to see you in this, dearest brother.’‘ Eris grumbled, before quickly smiling again when their mother glanced at them. ‘‘Please behave just for today, mother would be terribly disappointed if we brought her shame on such a special day.’‘ She whispered, cringing as another drop ran down her neck. Fay sighed exasperatedly, dropping most of his weight on her as he leaned against her side, grinning as he felt her glare on him. ‘‘Ah yes, the very special ceremony of a girl sitting on a chair while the guests stand awkwardly, watching her weird mum drop a soaked bouquet on top of her daughter’s head, making her look like the survivor of a bloody massac-’‘ He stopped, sensing her tense against him. Quickly straightening himself, Fay crossed his arms behind his back. ‘‘Sorry…’‘ He muttered gently, his eyes soft and sad as he watched her face become a cold shield again. She grunted something in response, but couldn’t get herself to actually be mad at him. Fay was just like that after all, a playful but sweet boy, with a big mouth and sometimes said too much than he should, but sincere and gentle at heart. And no matter how many times he committed that one specific mistake, he was still her precious brother.
The evening went on and on, but Eris didn’t bothered to stay until the end of it, just long enough so that she wouldn’t look disrespectful and rude before seeking refuge in her bedroom. Fay was still entertaining the younger girls of their age, giving them gentle smiles that meant nothing but still allowed the girls to dream, enrolling in playful banter for the sake of his mother’s approval. Eris leaned against the door, staring at the same mirror she had stared at all morning, her white suit almost completely stained in pink, soaked hair laying flat against her head, and her face caked in red. Carefully picking up her crown, Eris placed it on her desk to dry. One long bath later, she managed to wash off most of the red from her head, back to standing in front of the mirror. She ran her hands down her nightgown, taking deep breaths as the familiar feeling of anxiety building up on her throat returned. ‘‘It’s gonna be okay.’‘ She whispered to herself, her hands now freely fidgeting with her gown. ‘‘Nothing to worry about. Mum did it. Dad did it. The twins did it. Grandma. Grandpa…’‘ She took another deep breath, refusing to look back at the mirror as her cold mask finally dropped, revealing an insecure, scared and anxious girl underneath. ‘‘If they did it, you can do it.’‘ She assured herself, gripping the mirror harder. ‘’It’ll be okay. Just find a partner, stick to them, never lose your sword, don’t have break downs, and more than anything, survive.’‘ She whispered to herself, repeating her mother’s words from yesterday. She wished she could believe them.
Josephine Baker was born Freda Josephine McDonald on June 3, 1906, in St. Louis, Missouri. Her mother, Carrie McDonald, was a washerwoman who had given up her dreams of becoming a music-hall dancer. Her father, Eddie Carson, was a vaudeville drummer. He abandoned Carrie and Josephine shortly after her birth. Carrie remarried soon thereafter and would have several more children in the coming years.
To help support her growing family, at age 8 Josephine cleaned houses and babysat for wealthy white families, often being poorly treated. She briefly returned to school two years later before running away from home at age 13 and finding work as a waitress at a club. While working there, she married a man named Willie Wells, from whom she divorced only weeks later.
The Path to Paris
It was also around this time that Josephine first took up dancing, honing her skills both in clubs and in street performances, and by 1919 she was touring the United States with the Jones Family Band and the Dixie Steppers performing comedic skits. In 1921, Josephine married a man named Willie Baker, whose name she would keep for the rest of her life despite their divorce years later. In 1923, Baker landed a role in the musical Shuffle Alongas a member of the chorus, and the comic touch that she brought to the part made her popular with audiences. Looking to parlay these early successes, Baker moved to New York City and was soon performing in Chocolate Dandies and, along with Ethel Waters, in the floor show of the Plantation Club, where again she quickly became a crowd favorite.
In 1925, at the peak of France’s obsession with American jazz and all things exotic, Baker traveled to Paris to perform in La Revue Nègre at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. She made an immediate impression on French audiences when, with dance partner Joe Alex, she performed the Danse Sauvage, in which she wore only a feather skirt.
However, it was the following year, at the Folies Bergère music hall, one of the most popular of the era, that Baker’s career would reach a major turning point. In a performance called La Folie du Jour, Baker danced wearing little more than a skirt made of 16 bananas. The show was wildly popular with Parisian audiences and Baker was soon among the most popular and highest-paid performers in Europe, having the admiration of cultural figures like Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway and E. E. Cummings and earning herself nicknames like “Black Venus” and “Black Pearl.” She also received more than 1,000 marriage proposals.
Capitalizing on this success, Baker sang professionally for the first time in 1930, and several years later landed film roles as a singer in Zou-Zou andPrincesse Tam-Tam. The money she earned from her performances soon allowed her to purchase an estate in Castelnaud-Fayrac, in the southwest of France. She named the estate Les Milandes, and soon paid to move her family there from St. Louis.
Racism and Resistance
In 1936, riding the wave of popularity she was enjoying in France, Baker returned to the United States to perform in the Ziegfield Follies, hoping to establish herself as a performer in her home country as well. However, she was met with a generally hostile, racist reaction and quickly returned to France, crestfallen at her mistreatment. Upon her return, Baker married French industrialist Jean Lion and obtained citizenship from the country that had embraced her as one of its own.
When World War II erupted later that year, Baker worked for the Red Cross during the occupation of France. As a member of the Free French forces she also entertained troops in both Africa and the Middle East. Perhaps most importantly, however, Baker did work for the French Resistance, at times smuggling messages hidden in her sheet music and even in her underwear. For these efforts, at the war’s end, Baker was awarded both the Croix de Guerre and the Legion of Honour with the rosette of the Resistance, two of France’s highest military honors.
Following the war, Baker spent most of her time at Les Milandes with her family. In 1947, she married French orchestra leader Jo Bouillon, and beginning in 1950 began to adopt babies from around the world. She adopted 12 children in all, creating what she referred to as her “rainbow tribe” and her “experiment in brotherhood.” She often invited people to the estate to see these children, to demonstrate that people of different races could in fact live together harmoniously.
Return to the U.S.
During the 1950s, Baker frequently returned to the United States to lend her support to the Civil Rights Movement, participating in demonstrations and boycotting segregated clubs and concert venues. In 1963, Baker participated, alongside Martin Luther King Jr., in the March on Washington, and was among the many notable speakers that day. In honor of her efforts, the NAACP eventually named May 20th “Josephine Baker Day.”
After decades of rejection by her countrymen and a lifetime spent dealing with racism, in 1973 Baker performed at Carnegie Hall in New York and was greeted with a standing ovation. She was so moved by her reception that she wept openly before her audience. The show was a huge success and marked Baker’s comeback to the stage.
In April 1975, Josephine Baker performed at the Bobino Theater in Paris, in the first of a series of performances celebrating the 50th anniversary of her Paris debut. Numerous celebrities were in attendance, including Sophia Loren and Princess Grace of Monaco, who had been a dear friend to Baker for years. Just days later, on April 12, 1975, Baker died in her sleep of a cerebral hemorrhage. She was 69.
On the day of her funeral, more than 20,000 people lined the streets of Paris to witness the procession, and the French government honored her with a 21-gun salute, making Baker the first American woman in history to be buried in France with military honors.