This is the top of the recto. Underlining is used to indicate the introduction to a new section, while rubric is used to indicate the Ave Maria. Capital letters within the paragraphs are highlighted in red, but these do not seem to relate strictly to grammatical sentence structure, but perhaps indicate pauses or breathing points while reading aloud.

An interesting point is that the Virgin is addressed as du, which seems a bit familiar in relation to modern Germanic usage. Is the restriction on the use of du to superiors a more modern usage, or is this really a very intimate and private conversation?

This passage refers to the immaculate conception of the Virgin herself, a concept which derives not from the Bible, but from the New Testament Apocrypha.
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Book of Hours, c.1500. From a private collection. Photographs © Dianne Tillotson.

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