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  • Prathapa Mudaliar Charithram, written in 1857 and published in 1879, was the first novel in the Tamil language. Penned by Samuel Vedanayagam Pillai, it was a landmark in Tamil literature, which had hitherto seen writings only in poetry. The book gave birth to a new literary genre and Tamil prose began to be recognized as an increasingly important part of the language. The author was a Tamil Christian named Samuel Vedanayagam Pillai, who was the munsif of Mayuram. Influenced by Western ideas of women's liberation and secularism, he set out to publish works that projected his ideals. His first publication was Pen Kalvi, which he addressed to his daughters. After witnessing the explosion of novels in Western literature, he set out to publish his groundbreaking novel that would showcase the heroine of the novel as an equal of the hero, if not more savvy and righteous. The story revolves around the protagonist, Prathapa Mudaliar and his travails.

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