Sunday, May 19, 2013
JK Rowling's Dabbling with 17th-Century Alchemy
Flamel's reputation was greatly revived in the 17th century with a recrudescent fascination of the alchemical process. Almost a century earlier, Paracelsus had ushered in the idea of chemical mixtures restoring physical health, giving way to a new search for a mixture that could produce immortality.
I was so giddy when I found this out. At the time, I had been slaving away in the Boston College library trying to understand the alchemical references in Donne's "Devotion 11," probably mirroring Hermione's experience of combing through page after page in Hogwart's restricted library section. I think I may have been just as excited as her when I found out for myself just who Nicolas Flamel really was.