With the rise of modern pet keeping in the eighteenth century came many published epitaphs and elegies honoring dead pets. Some of these works were simply literary games or satires; others served more serious agendas, allowing writers to speculate about the relationship between humans, God, and the natural world. Often the animal that was ostensibly the subject of an elegy or epitaph was incidental to the writer's purpose. By the end of the eighteenth century, however, such works were increasingly focused on an individual pet and a special emotional bond between human and animal. Changing attitudes toward nature, sensibility, and characteristics traditionally associated with femininity both encouraged and were encouraged by changing attitudes toward pets and pet keeping.


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pp. 289-306
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