Born of Man and Woman by Richard Matheson - Lettered Edition

Born of Man and Woman by Richard Matheson - Lettered Edition

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A crushing, tragic masterpiece, “Born of Man and Woman” is the short story that introduced the world to Richard Matheson.

In the July 1950 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, readers were treated to the debut of a new twenty-three year old author who would soon become one of the titans of 20th century horror, science fiction and fantasy. Printed above the title was an editor’s note which read: “Mr. Richard Matheson lives in Brooklyn, is 23 years old, and has never published a story before. These simple, direct facts we can tell you about the author. Nothing so simple could be said of his story or the protagonist who tells it with a mind such as you have never met, housed in a body you have never imagined. Read on … and learn to know your not inconceivable kinsman.”

The tale of an uneducated and abused child chained in its parents’ cellar, “Born of Man and Woman” is the child’s internal diary, written in poignantly broken English. In just a few pages, Richard Matheson delivers a story packed with powerful imagery so haunting and heartbreaking, it is unforgettable. For years following its release, it would continue to be critically acclaimed as one of the prolific writer’s greatest of short stories and was selected in 1970 by the Science Fiction Writers of America as one of the best science fiction short stories published before the creation of the Nebula Awards. As such, it was published in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame Volume One, 1929-1964.

Matheson first submitted “Born of Man and Woman” to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in December 1949. The magazine responded enthusiastically, with an interest in purchasing the story, provided that the publication lived to see its third issue. Editor Anthony Boucher wrote in his response letter, “We do hope that you will let us hold ‘Born’ and that it will be far from the last Matheson story we’ll publish.” 

Matheson replied: “Dear Mr. Boucher, I hope it won’t shock you to learn it is the first story I ever sold in my life. I have written for years, of course. I can only suggest that my lack of success, until now, has been due to a very limited effort at marketing my work.”

Within a year of publishing “Born of Man and Woman,” Matheson had nine more short stories published in various magazines, and by 1954 the author would publish his first novel, I Am Legend. Matheson would go on to publish countless short stories and novels, while adapting many of his works for film and television. In 1984, Matheson was awarded the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement, and in 1991 the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement. 

But it all began with “Born of Man and Woman.” Frightening, mysterious and emotional, Matheson’s debut is as disturbing and deserving of praise today as it was nearly 75 years ago.

The fine press limited edition of "Born of Man and Woman" by Richard Matheson is presented in two states: Lettered and Numbered.


  • 5½” x 7½” trim size.
  • 16 pages.
  • Limited to 26 copies.
  • Signed by R.C. Matheson and Vladimir Zimakov.
  • New exclusive afterword by R.C. Matheson.
  • Linocut illustration by Vladimir Zimakov.
  • Full goatskin binding featuring haptic leather onlays across the front and back boards. The leather is sourced from J. Hewit & Sons; the historic leather merchant which was founded in 1823 and continues to manufacture the finest quality leathers for bookbinding.
  • Head and tail bands are leather.
  • Endsheets are paste papers handmade by Marie Kelzer for this edition.
  • Hand set in foundry Grotesque 6 from Stephenson Blake type foundry.
  • Printed letterpress on Barcham Green Dover handmade paper by John Grice at the Evergreen Press on an FAG Swiss Proof 40 in Gloucestershire, England.
  • Barcham Green at the Hayle Mill in Kent was a long-established hand papermaker whose papers were considered amongst the very best. The papers used to print this edition were made in 1982, just before the mill closed.
  • Housed in a clamshell enclosure covered in Dubletta cloth with suede lined floors and a leather spine label.
  • Bookmark with all pre-orders.

Published editions may differ slightly from mockups and prototype designs.
Photography by Yegor Malinovskii.
Illustrations © 2023 by Vladimir Zimakov.

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