In the preface to her first volume of plays, the Romantic playwright Joanna Baillie claims that one is naturally driven to classify persons into character types, and she argues that this classification should be based on the passions individuals express rather than the fashions they wear. Despite this anticonsumerist stance, however, Baillie's project is shaped by the logic of late-eighteenth-century consumerism: Baillie conceives of passions as items susceptible to inventory, display, and sale. Her interest in establishing a human taxonomy grounded in ostensibly natural and subtle discriminations of character allies her works with other popular consumer goods of the period, from clothing fashions to studies of physiognomy. Moreover, like the aesthetic of the picturesque, Baillie's aesthetic encodes a peculiarly consumerist form of desire, a desire that can never be satisfied because it aims at acquisition rather than possession. In Baillie, the feelings and desires on which modern subjectivity is founded do not spring from deep within but are formed by, and find their meaning in, the public world of the marketplace.