The Baudelaire family had always been a respected and affluent family, hailing from Versailles, France. Historically, the Heraldic Family had been staunch and loyal advisors to the French Crown, which had not gone unnoticed. The Baudelaires held many Crownlands, titles and revere in Court. The Baudelaires were known for their shrewd, calculated and cunning ways. You see, while they were
loyal to the crown, and carried out their orders dutifully, it was not done for King and Crown, necessarily. The Baudelaires had a family motto. Esto quod esse videris. Be what you seem to be
. They were seen to be loyal and powerful, so that is what they became. However, in 1789, when talks of a Revolution began spreading in France, the Baudelaires were the first of the Aristocracy to catch whiff of this. They were able to evade any collateral damage from the grisly affair by publicly showing their support to the resistance before the execution of Louis XVI in 1793. The Baudelaires here showed their true colours and ability to adapt into a position which resulted in the least amount of harm for themselves. Self preservation, and calculation is what allowed the Baudelaire's to flourish.
After the revolution, and the start of the French Empire under Napoleon Bonaparte, the ambitious Baudelaires began climbing the social ladder once more. They did so by taking control of French printing presses, and publishing pro-Napoleonic propaganda, and providing insights into his campaigns and conquests abroad. Slowly, they began to regain their name. By the fall of the Empire, after the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, the Baudelaire's did not require Napoleon or the approval of high society, because they had already become such influencers in the industry. They monopolised the newspaper market, and nothing would be published without their consent. As time went on, they retained their high societal position.
Never a family to stay content, the Baudelaires began expanding their empire. In 1905, Olivié Baudelaire and her husband, Bastien launched Baudelaire Sociétés (Baudelaire Corporations), an official producer and distributer or newspapers, magazines and academic journals in France. This period of the Baudelaire Family history was extremely exciting as radios were beginning to emerge, and by the start of the First World War, the Baudelaires began introducing Wireless to the Magical French Population. They would report the effects of the war to the magical community, and it was groundbreaking, as this was a concept completely newfangled to communities, who were so used to owl post delivering newspapers until then.
The Baudelaires enjoyed a modicum of success in France, but when the men of the family got called into war during the Second World War. Unable to avoid conscription, they went, and unfortunately, very few returned. The Baudelaires decided that, after the war and all the horrible effects it had on the family, they would relocate, and start afresh. The family had been wounded, and now it was time to heal. So, in 1947, two years after the war, The Baudelaires had set their affairs into order, and sorted out their business plans, and moved to Belgravia, in London. London had been equally economically and sociopolitically devestated by the war, but the Baudelaire's saw this as an opportunity for them to take over the markets immediately. What was innovative about the Baudelaire Corp. moving to the UK was that they still continued to trade in France, along with their new startups in England. This system allowed them to make twice as much as they used to, and it meant that the family could spend summers and winters in France, whilst remaining in London for business seasons.
All was well for a while, until there was a slight problem in France. Gaspard Baudelaire's father, Augustiné, was found guilty for embezzling funds from Baudelaire Sociétés in France to pay for illegal nontradeable goods on the down low. Augustiné was jailed, but his wife and only son fled back to London to safety. The French faction of Baudelaire Corporations was shut down and disbanded, so all they had now was the London Office. Gaspard, at the tender age of eighteen, now had the business thrust upon his shoulders. But Gaspard had always inherited his father's business acumen, so he took to it like a moth to a flame. He married his childhood sweetheart, Mirabelle DuBois, a silvertongued journalist who spun words into gold. It was a perfect match. Mirabelle produced content, and Gaspard distributed it nationwide. The company was back on it's feet, and soon Gaspard and Mirabelle had to consider the future of the company. With Gaspard being an only child, finding a successor was of utmost importance. They had three children. First was Charlemagne, the intelligent and innovative eldest son. A bright Ravenclaw alum, Charlemagne married fellow Ravenclaw Céline LeClair. Next was Olympé, a talented and shrewd businesswoman. Olympé was no-nonsense and loyal to the Baudelaire name and family. She was so devoted that when she married a Wizarding Wireless Network executive, Francois Mercier, she kept her maiden name, along with giving it to her children. Finally, they had Cyril. The youngest of the siblings, and the most talented. Charming and gregarious, but far too lazy to unleash his full potential; Cyril took to living a life of luxuriousness and decadence. After Gaspard died from natural causes, Charlemagne took over as Managing Director and CEO of Baudelaire Corporations, with Olympé, Cyril, Mirabelle, Céline and Francois making up the Board of Directors.
The Baudelaire's flourished, continuing the business, with the late Gaspard's grandchildren even getting involved in the family business. All was well, until Charlemagne died. The news came as a shock to all, as he was not of ill health. A fishing trip to Weymouth, Devon went south when allegedly, Gaspard's boat capsized due to a freak wave and ill timing of the tide. The coronor's official cause of death was drowning, and that was that. Questions arose from the death - what was he doing away from the group? Why were there no witnesses? Was there any foul play?
But the most important one remained unanswered: who will take over the company?
Gaspard died at the age of 45, so his will was incomplete. He had not named a successor yet, and it could have been anyone - from his siblings to his children to his siblings' children. The possibilities were endless, and the Baudelaire's now find themselves facing the biggest challenge: to remain united as a family as they choose a successor.