The role of the Book of Hours in female lay devotional life during the late Middle Ages has been investigated and analyzed by many scholars and art historians over the course of the past century. The general consensus has been that semi-literate medieval women valued these books greatly as instructional manuals on how to attain salvation, using the images contained within as spiritual aids meant to encourage individual contemplation and pious recitation. Prayers for mediation, protection, and guidance featured prominently within these books and many historians of both genders have come to the conclusion that Books of Hours were a source of comfort and spiritual nourishment for women living in a male-dominated and male-oriented world. [excerpt]
Grubbs, Dallas A.
"She Shall Be Saved in Childbearing: Submission, Contemplation of Conception, and Annunciation Imagery in the Books of Hours of Two Late Medieval Noblewomen,"
The Gettysburg Historical Journal: Vol. 11
, Article 5.
Available at: http://cupola.gettysburg.edu/ghj/vol11/iss1/5