Apr 6, 2020
Beattie was educated at Aylesbury Grammar School and the University
of Exeter, where he took a double first in German and Russian
(1997) and subsequently studied for an MA in Lexicography (1998),
which he passed with Distinction. Whilst at Exeter, Beattie also
held a choral scholarship at Exeter Cathedral. After a brief period
freelancing in the publishing business Beattie joined the
London antiquarian booksellers Bernard Quaritch Ltd in 1998.
In January 2010 he set up his own company specialising in European
cross-cultural history. His printed catalogues, entitled
, have won numerous awards.
He was a 2012 winner in the Smarta 100
Awards for 'the most resourceful, original, exciting and disruptive
small businesses in the UK' and has taught at the York Antiquarian
Book Seminar since its inception in 2014. It was Beattie who set in
motion the worldwide strike by over 450 booksellers against
AbeBooks' decision to withdraw from the Czech Republic, Hungary,
Russia, and South Korea in November 2018.
Beattie's translation of Gottfried Benn's shocking first poem
'Morgue' was published in 2018. His translation of the novel At
the Edge of the Night by the German writer Friedo Lampe was
published by Hesperus Press in 2019. Finally, Beattie also composes
choral music. His setting of Advent Calendar, a poem by Rowan
Williams, was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 as part of the 2008 Advent
carol service from St John's College, Cambridge.
I met Simon in Boston, prior to last
year's Antiquarian Book Fair, to talk books, more specifically
endpapers and Simon's phenomenally successful 'We love Endpapers'
Facebook group. We also talk about speaking foreign languages,
cultures being curious about one another, exploration, the
reception of Oscar Wilde in Russia, translation and censorship,
pleasant surprises, marbled paper, brocade paper, bookseller
catalogues, and enjoying what you do.