The tradition of composing epitaphs was popular throughout Europe. Religious content was joined by commemoration of a person’s station in life or even commemoration of nonpersons such as dogs. Playfulness and satire were standard elements of epitaphs during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Humor appeared in epitaphs, which became known as “tavern” or “pot poetry” when composed in the convivial company of others. The British Isles has been full of friendships between poets and the keepers of pubs. Many of the first have left us word of the second. Epitaphs remembering landlords, brewers, drinkers, drunkards, and teetotallers make up a genre of their own. A number of those have been collected for the purpose of this essay.
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