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Holy Mother of Milk: Female Readers and the Function of Religious and Scientific Discourse in the Guidi Book of HoursThis thesis examines the Guidi Hours in the context of contemporaneous religious and medical teachings in regard to women of the early fifteenth century and the ways in which the narratives they create are visually articulated and actively promulgated through this book’s illustrations. The two virgo lactans and sacra cintola within this manuscript are analyzed through a fifteenth-century female reader’s perspective to investigate the ways in which women may have understood them and this prayer book. Based on medical and religious discourses surrounding the importance of these various aspects regarding the woman herself, our female reader’s understanding of this iconography went beyond an image of Mary and Christ, or of a mother and child, but imparted instructions on how to be a model for her gender.