Meet the real Professor Snape — a Welsh teacher from the late 19th century
The only thing scarier than one Professor Snape has to be two Professor Snapes — and one of them isn’t fictional. Gulp.
According to some brand new research, that consisted of going through lots of old documents and pictures from the 1800s, there once was a REAL Professor Snape. His full name was Henry Lloyd Snape, and he taught at Aberystwyth’s Old College in Wales. What did he teach? Why, the subject of chemistry, and he became the chair of the chemistry department in 1888. Which means that, yes, real life Processor Snape actually mixed up potions back in his day and was in charge of it ALLLLL. Ten points to Aberystwyth’s Old College.
Dr. Beth Rodgers, a lecturer at Aberystwyth’s Old College, happened to be going through old papers when she stumbled across the name “Professor Snape.” After doing a double take, probably, she realized that her eyes did not deceive her.
“While Aberystwyth’s own Professor Snape may not have been the inspiration for his fictional namesake – Rowling might be wholly unaware of his existence – uncanny echoes and parallels between them stop me, as a researcher of both children’s literature and the history of education, in my tracks,” Rodgers writes in the Irish Times. “Truth, it seems, sometimes really is stranger than fiction.”
Rodgers was able to uncover a few pictures of this Professor Snape, along with his obituary (he lived from 1861-1933) that described him as being, “energetic, keen and devoted.” However, at the name Snape, sorry Professor Snape, it’s hard for her not to “conjure up an image of Alan Rickman marching through the halls of Hogwarts, cape billowing behind him.”
According to Rogers, this Professor Snape “conducted research on such topics as aromatic cyanates and carbamates, and amarine and amarone.” Honestly, those things might as well be wizarding words because they sound completely foreign and magical. He probably didn’t teach any of his students how to brew a Polyjuice Potion. But maybe.
Image via Warner Bros.