You may remember reading about Nicholas Flamel in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
But the story of Nicholas Flamel predates Harry Potter. It goes back to the middle ages. According to legend, Nicholas Flamel lived in Paris in the fourteenth century, and he was an alchemist.
Read more—fiction and nonfiction—about alchemy and alchemists.
The Name of This Book Is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch is a mystery novel with secrets of alchemy as its central theme. Is the author’s pen name a tribute to the real-life artist, Heironymous Bosch, who used alchemy symbols in his painting? (Thanks, Julie, for the art history info!)
Alchemy and Meggy Swann by Karen Cushman is a novel about sixteenth-century London. Meggy comes to live with her long-lost father, a shadowy—and possibly criminal—alchemist.
Magic and Alchemy by Robert Place explores the history and mystery of alchemists and magicians, including the legend of Nicholas Flamel.
The 39 Clues: The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan. In this first book in the series, siblings Dan and Amy begin their search for the clues—39 of them, hidden around the world—that reveal the ingredients of the Philosopher’s Stone, long sought by alchemists.
Wizards: An Amazing Journey through the Last Great Age of Magicby Candace Savage takes a look at the history of real-life magicians and the science behind their magic. It also gives a historical perspective of the legend of Nicholas Flamel.
The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott imagines an ongoing rivalry between two alchemists—Nicholas Flamel and John Dee, who was actually a real person.
Isaac Newton: Discovering the Laws that Govern the Universe by Michael White discusses the life and work of this timeless genius. Isaac Newton discovered laws of physics, created the field of calculus, and built an advanced lab for his experiments in alchemy—the ancestor of today’s chemistry.