ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Nicolas Flamel ~ A Real-Life Harry Potter

Updated on July 31, 2011
Nicolas Flamel
Nicolas Flamel | Source

It is thought that JK Rowling was inspired for her Harry Potter characters from the real-life alchemist, Nicolas Flamel. Rowling mentions Flamel in her first book, “The Sorcerer’s Stone” claiming that Albus Dumbledore partnered with Nicolas Flamel in his youth, so it’s not such an outlandish supposition that Rowling studied Nicolas Flamel’s life while researching her books.

Flamel worked as a bookseller in Paris during most of his adult life. Through this he was able to read and to write while on the job. He owned a small seller’s stall near the Cathedral of Saint-Jacques la Boucherie. From this location he and his assistants copied and illustrated books. Flamel reported that during a dream he was visited by an angel (a winged creature). The angel showed him a beautiful book and said to him, “Look well at this book, Nicholas. At first you will understand nothing in it – neither you nor any other man, but one day you will see in it that which no other man will be able to see.”

As Flamel was about to take the book from the angel, he awoke from his dream. Soon afterwards a stranger approached him in his shop with a book he was desperate to sell. Flamel immediately recognized the cooper-covered book from his dream and bought it. The cover was engraved with strange diagrams and words that he did not recognize as French, but believed them to be Greek. Nicolas was able to understand from deciphering the first few bark pages that it had been written by a man named “Abraham the Jew,” who was a prince, priest, Levite, astrologer and philosopher.

Familiar with the terms alchemist used through his trade as a books seller, Flamel was able to understand that the book contained valuable information, as the secrets of nature and life itself. For the following 21 years this book became Flamel’s obsession.

Flamel traveled to Spain in an attempt to find someone who could help him translate the Jewish text of the book. He finally found an elderly, Maestro Canches who was willing to assist him. They were able to translate the first few pages that Flamel had scribed and brought with him, but Canches died before he could see the entire book. However, the translations that were done were enough for Flamel to figure out much of the remainder of the book himself. Three years later, after the entire book had been translated, Flamel was able to perform some of the feats described in the book.

Flamel claimed that he was able to perform transmutation-transforming mercury into gold!

Since this was such an outlandish claim, most of his contemporaries disbelieved it. However, inexplicably, Flamel became a very wealthy man! Records show that he became so wealthy that he built housing for the poor, established free hospitals, and made generous donations to local churches. None of his new wealth was used to benefit himself or his family.

Some burial records indicate that Nicolas Flamel died in 1417, but after he was gone, no trace of his book, or the materials he used for transference were ever found. Some say he showed up again much later, but his identity has never been verified.

Text was found in France in the late 1750s allegedly written in Flamels handwriting. It was published in London in 1806. The original document was written in a coded alphabet consisting of 96 letters. Flamel wrote this text without telling anyone about it save for his nephew, Father Pernetti. Pernetti and a Monsieur de Saint Marc were finally able to break the code in 1758. Keep in mind that Nicolas Flamel was born in 1330 , , ,


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Christine B. profile imageAUTHOR

      Christine B. 

      6 years ago from Medina, Ohio

      Thanks, Lizzy... It was fun researching it and I love the idea of Harry Potter being a real person! :o)

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 

      6 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Fascinating, indeed.....thanks for bringing this to light. It is always interesting to understand an author's inspiration..

      Voted up, interesting and awesome.

    • Christine B. profile imageAUTHOR

      Christine B. 

      7 years ago from Medina, Ohio

      Thanks, Eiddwen... I hope you have time to read more of my "musings."

    • Eiddwen profile image


      7 years ago from Wales

      Very interesting and I vote up accordingly

      Take care


    • Christine B. profile imageAUTHOR

      Christine B. 

      7 years ago from Medina, Ohio

      Thanks, Kristen... I hope you have time to read more of my articles... lots of unusual information here! :o)

    • K. Burns Darling profile image

      Kristen Burns-Darling 

      7 years ago from Orange County, California

      Some of my friends and family members refer to me as "the Queen of Useless Information." Useless to them perhaps, but interesting and thought provoking to me. This hub is right up my alley, the story of a little less known, slightly obscure and very interesting person. Nicely written hub about someone I didn't know about, and am now inspired to learn more about. What a nice way to start a Sunday morning! Thank you for sharing. Voted up, useful, interesting.



    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)