The Book of Hours was a popular Middle Ages Christian devotional book, mostly written in Latin. Each manuscript is unique, but contains similar collections of texts, prayers and psalms for lay people, especially women, divided into eight sections to be read at specific hours of the day. Advances in printing technology meant The Book of Hours became affordable for the middle-classes in the late 15th century, but was still often the only book an individual ever owned. Many versions of the Book of Hours were modestly decorated, others are notable for their illumination (the supplementation of the text with decorative initials, borders and miniature illustrations), especially with gold and silver. The standard medieval Bible in Western Europe, the Latin Vulgate, was also often elaborately illuminated.
More Information: A Hypertext Book of Hours