The first cycle, The Book of Monastic Life, was initially titled "Die Gebete", which means "The prayers". It was written in 1899, following a journey to Russia. The Book of Pilgrimage was finished in 1901, the year Rilke got married and became the father of a daughter. The Book of Poverty and Death was written in 1903. The collective title comes from the book of hours, a type of illuminated breviary popular in France in the later Middle Ages.