In 1788, the editors of the Catalogue of Five Hundred Celebrated Authors of Great Britain, Now Living “boldly” introduced a volume “so new in its design” that the editors claimed to be “the inventors of a new science”—the science of celebrity (iii). To justify their volume-which offered brief biographical notices of living literary authors-the editors pointed readers to the widespread interest in the private lives of authors: “we are no sooner interested by the writings of an author, than our curiosity is awakened for his history, his fortune, and his character” (v). Such biographical narratives would be made more interesting, the editors promised, by the inclusion of “occasional Strictures, and Anecdotes of [famous] Lives” (i). Unfortunately, the editors’ promises were not matched by their volume’s quality, offering, as the Monthly Review noted, “crude and imperfect” “information.” The Monthly Review, in fact, lamented the gap between its idea of “celebrity” and that of the editors, complaining that “many of the authors introduced into this work, are people whose names were scarcely ever before heard of” (Rev. of Catalogue 87). Regardless of the Catalogue’s success or failure to provide the materials its readers desired, its presence on the market (and the Monthly Review’s complaints about it) presume the existence of a particular kind of authorship, one that rests not only, or even primarily, upon the author’s works, but upon a particular kind of personal fame.