The Confusing Questions

This is a sort of mini biography to the Series of Unfortunate Events, where Lucia Snicket delves into her ancestors past to discover the truth of a range of characters that made up the popular series of books her brother, Lemony Snicket wrote.


11. Mr Poe


Mr. Arthur Poe. Sigh. Why do I have to come from such an interesting and strangely exhilarating topic as Count Olaf’s collaborators to the dullest creature in this whole book?

If you have been so unfortunate as to have read the Series Of Unfortunate Events books before, as boring as Mr. Poe might be, he is vital to the progression of the novels as much as the thrilling ‘bad guys’ are.

We might not find Arthur Poe that interesting, but I bet a million pounds that no one has questioned his past before I have. So seeing as I’ve already told you that I know his background story, I might as well reveal it, however I am still quite angry that I am possibly the most inquisitive being on this planet. Anyway, my endowed team has managed to collect a good number of clues from the old office in the bank in which he worked. All those Mr. Poe fans (ooer) scattered all over the planet may have only bought this book to hope that we may reveal where their dearly beloved is. Dead I’m afraid. Arthur perished in the fire on the third floor in the Hotel Denouement. Sorry about that. 


I can give you a bit more background information on what kind of man this idiot is, behind the scenes.


Mr. Poe is the first to bring the news of Bertrand and Beatrice's death to the Baudelaire children. As executor of the Baudelaire estate, he interprets the will's instructions that the children should ‘be raised in the most convenient way possible’, meaning they should remain within the city limits, and arranges for their distant cousin Count Olaf to take custody. A very unfortunate idea. When the Baudelaire’s contact Poe at his bank (Mulcutary Money Management) to report Olaf's abuse, Arthur points out that Olaf is acting as a parent would normally do, and can raise them as he sees fit. However, when Olaf traps Sunny in a birdcage and attempts to force Violet to marry him, Poe finally realises that Olaf is a villain just prior to Count Olaf's escape.


When the Baudelaire’s escape the Vile Village with accusations of murder (and later arson and kidnapping), Poe is one of the few adults to maintain the Baudelaire’s innocence and to not believe Daily Punctilio articles published by his sister Eleanora. When the Baudelaire’s return to the city to meet up with V.F.D, Poe intervenes on a tip from a ‘J.S.’ (initials used by Jerome Squalor, Justice Strauss, my brother and others) with the intent of clearing the Baudelaire’s' names and restoring his role as executor, but the children refuse to accompany him. After Mrs. Bass Robs Mulctuary Money Management, Poe is placed in charge of the investigation, which leads him to the Hotel Denouement. When the hotel is set on fire, Poe is on the third floor, which leads to his death, as I said before.


Although his main ‘responsibility’ in the books is to help the Baudelaire’s, the Baudelaire’s do not think he is helpful (Lemony describes him as being as helpful as a jar of mustard). I must say that I thoroughly agree. His focus on his job, I think, made him completely oblivious to the danger the Baudelaire’s keep on finding themselves in. Though the Baudelaire’s seem to be much more intelligent than Poe, he completely dismisses and ignores everything they say as ‘ramblings of little children’. Some of my team believe that Poe was being deliberately unhelpful and ignorant - (that he is actually a villain or a member of V.F.D, although there is no evidence to suggest this), this could also just be a result of his stupidity.


Poe's employer is Mulcutary Money Management. This may indicate that Poe is after the Baudelaire fortune, and has purposely placed them in peril. However, it could merely be a humorous comment on the general perception of banks these days! In several of the books, he seems to be very excited about receiving a promotion. His title at Mulctuary Money Management in The Bad Beginning is not said, even after I had researched, but at the start of The Miserable Mill, while on a train to Paltryville, he announces to the children that he is now Vice-President in Charge of Coins. Later on Mr. Poe becomes Vice-President in Charge of Orphan Affairs. Esmé Squalor deems him an ‘unstylish banker’. After making a short appearance when he lets the Baudelaire’s choose a town at a new program where they let an entire village be a guardian of the orphans.


Since then, he lost touch with the Baudelaire’s until a brief appearance of him in end of The Grim Grotto on Briny Beach, right before the Baudelaire’s met Kit Snicket.


Count Olaf reveals that Poe had adoption papers hidden under his hat at some point after his promotion to Vice President in Charge of Orphan Affairs; Mr. Poe is implied some special editions of the first book to have something hidden under his hat. Olaf also mentions that ‘at the time’ Mr. Poe was better known under his stage name, implying that Poe also works as an actor.

Mr. Poe has a wife (Polly) and two children, Edgar and Albert. He also has a sister named Eleonora Poe, a reporter for the Daily Punctilio.


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