1. St. Albert the Great was the real-life Nicolas Flamel.
You all know the story of Nicholas Flamel: he was an alchemist who invented the “Philosopher’s Stone” which produced an “elixir of life” that could turn metals into gold and bestowed immortality. Why do you know this? Because that’s the story J.K. Rowling told you in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, is why. And that story is a more-or-less accurate retelling of various old seventeenth-century legends about medieval sorcery and alchemy. (more…)