The Baudelaire family (pronounced /ˌboʊd(ə)ˈlɛər/) is one of several prominent fictional families created by American author Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler) for his novel series A Series of Unfortunate Events. The Baudelaire children, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny, are the protagonists of the series.
Snicket named the Baudelaires after French macabre poet Charles Baudelaire. The French surname Baudelaire historically also recorded as Badelaire and Bazelaire, refers to a short sword or knife used as a heraldic blazon: Thomas Nugent, in his Pocket-Dictionary of the French and English Languages (1808), translated baudelaire as a "short, broad, and curved sword" used in heraldry; the Reverend Thomas Dudley Fosbroke, in his Encyclopædia of Antiquities (1825), described the baudelaire as a "little portative knife" used as a medieval English blazon; W. T. Cosgrave described it as a "short and broad backsword, being towards the point like a Turkish scymitar". The French word baudelaire comes from Medieval Latin bādelārius, bādelāris, or bādārellus, meaning a "kind of short sword" (ensis brevis species).
Despite the apparently Romantic origin of "Baudelaire", Snicket stated in February 2007 that "the Baudelaires are Jewish! I guess we would not know for sure but we would strongly suspect it," citing their "manner" as an indicator. Snicket elaborated: "I think there is something naturally Jewish about unending misery. […] I'm Jewish so, by default, the characters I create are Jewish, I think."
- Bertrand Baudelaire, Father of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny. Died in the fire that destroyed the family home.
- Beatrice Baudelaire, Mother of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny. Died in the fire that destroyed the family home.
- Violet Baudelaire, the oldest (age 14 at the start of the series, then 15 in The Grim Grotto and 16 by the end of the series). Violet is an intelligent, avid inventor and on numerous occasions saves the lives of her siblings Klaus and Sunny.
- Klaus Baudelaire, the middle child (age 12 at the start of the series, 13 in The Vile Village and 14 by the end of the series). Klaus is an intelligent, avid reader and he taps into his vast book knowledge to help get the three children out of numerous scrapes.
- Sunny Baudelaire, the youngest, is an infant. Sunny enjoys biting and, as she matures later in the series, cooking. She often manages to get the siblings out of trouble.
- Beatrice Baudelaire (II), the siblings' adoptive daughter. Aged one year old by chapter fourteen of The End, the last book in the series.