Due to the commercialization of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, most people would assume Nicolas Flamel to be a fictional character. Flamel was in fact an actual historical entity who lived from 1330 to1418. History tells us that Flamel was a French scrivener and manuscript seller before becoming an acclaimed alchemist. The French National library, the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris is said to contain original works written and hand copied by Flamel himself. Also, official documents pertaining to the life to the life of Flamel (marriage contract, will etc) are also kept in the French National library.

It is pretty evident that Flamel’s work has been a looked at with fascination. Creative writers such as JK Rowling, Michael Roberts, Dan Brown, Max McCoy and Michael Scott have all used Flamel as subjects in their creative writing The interest in Flamel’s work in alchemy has resulted in the extra attention alluded to Flamel’s magnum opus, the Philosopher’s Stone.

Yes, that is right. The Philosopher’s Stone is not just a work of fiction. In fact, numerous historical texts throughout the course of history have mentioned it in some way or another. The Philosopher’s Stone is a substance with the ability to turn metal into pure gold or silver. It is also said to contain mystical powers to induce immortality. During the Middle Ages, the 13th century to be exact, philosopher and scientist Albertus Magnus is said to have discovered the Philosopher’s Stone. Rumor has it that he passed it on to his protégé Thomas Aquinas before he died in 1280.
During the Renaissance, a mystical text called Mutus Liber was published. The text contained symbols and illustrations for the creation of the Philosopher’s Stone. The idea is also prevalent in Hinduism and Buddhism. The Cintamani is a Buddhist’s and Hindu’s version of the Philosopher’s Stone.

Legend or not, the work of Nicolas Flamel has been given a lot of attention. The element of mystery involved in the making of the Elixir of Life consists of an enigma which I guess is appealing to a certain extent. I mean, aren’t we generally intrigued by things we don’t understand? It is kind of like magic. The appeal and fascination thrives from our inability to rationalize how a magic trick works.

“The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for out wits to grow sharper.”
Eden Phillpotts