If I have seen farther, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
— Sir Isaac Newton

At Simply Charly, we truly believe in these words, spoken by one of the distinguished personalities we feature on our site. The greatest scientist of his era, Newton is credited with discovering gravity, but his work was built on foundations laid by other great physicists and mathematicians—Aristotle and Galileo among them.

In fact, even though the accomplishments of the historic personalities profiled in these pages were groundbreaking in their fields, their work was, to varying degrees, inspired and influenced by “giants” who lived before them.

SIMPLY CHARLY makes it easy and enjoyable to explore the sometimes controversial but always fascinating lives of history’s most notable trailblazers, whose ideas, discoveries, and creations in the fields of the arts, architecture, science, music, literature, philosophy, politics, and economics, have made an indelible mark on the world.


Our approach to learning is based on “The Great Man (or Woman) Theory,” a notion spawned in the 19th century by Thomas Carlyle, a Scottish historian, philosopher and author. This theory states that we learn about the world through the achievements of people who made a significant impact on the lives of their contemporaries and generations that followed them.

The late Steve Jobs used this approach several years ago when he returned to Apple and created an ad campaign that likened his company to some of the great singular figures who dared to “Think Different.”

Borne out of those ideas, SIMPLY CHARLY is dedicated to some of history’s “great men” (and women) who not only dared to “think different,” but also turned their insights into groundbreaking achievements in their fields. For example, Ernest Hemingway introduced a new style of writing, Karl Marx inspired the most important political movement of the century, Albert Einstein developed the theory of relativity, Elvis Presley revolutionized pop music, and Pablo Picasso helped introduce Cubism to the world of painting.

These pioneers were not merely “one-hit wonders” because their work has been influencing our knowledge and ideas in innumerable ways.


Whoever you are and whatever you already know (or don’t know), these pages will enlighten and maybe even surprise you. That’s because we present the “giants” of history not only as geniuses in their fields, but also as men and women who, in their private lives and relationships, sometimes displayed very human flaws.

Navigating SIMPLY CHARLY is, well, simple.

Our PEOPLE section provides an introduction to the featured historical personality we cover. You don’t need to know physics or advanced math to explore EINSTEIN or GÖDEL, and you don’t have to be an English major to click on HEMINGWAY. 
Important concepts are introduced in terms everyone can understand, and the work of the individual is always presented in relevant context, with Hemingway’s involvement in the Lost Generation group of writers to the state of physics when Einstein wrote his famous early papers.


From the main page, click on PEOPLE on the navbar for an index of all of our featured historical figures. Other pages, such as EVENTS and BLOG are more general but no less informative.

After a brief introduction on the front page, which features a whimsical caricature of the subject, readers can go to the “About” page for an informative biography that outlines the individual’s contributions and creations.

And there’s much more. When you become a member of SIMPLY CHARLY, you gain access to a host of additional features, including exclusive interviews with prominent scholars and experts, book reviews, podcasts, email and chat support, videos, and special courses. Would you like more information about one of our featured personalities? No problem! Our ASK THE EXPERT platform gives you a unique opportunity to pose your question to one of our eminent scholars, authors, or other expert who specializes in a given historical figure.

Memberships range from our free Student level to our full-fledged Scholar category, and all of our paid subscriptions include a 30-day free trial. To get the most out of the site and enjoy all of our special benefits, register today and join your fellow intellectual explorers on this exciting cultural journey.

And remember to come back often—new personalities and fresh material are being added all the time!

The SIMPLY CHARLY site is the brainchild of the online education division of the Carlini Media, a multimedia company founded by musician and entrepreneur Charles Carlini in 1995.

We hope that our site will spark and satisfy your curiosity about the people who shaped our world and revolutionized the lives of many generations.

As Thomas Carlyle put it: “The history of the world is but the biography of great men.”