High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! Prathapa Mudaliar Charithram ("The Life of Prathapa Mudaliar"), written in 1857 and published in 1879, was the first novel in the Tamil language. Penned by Mayuram 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 (1826-1889), who was the munsif (a 'Village President' with some judicial powers) of Mayuram (present day Mayiladuthurai near Thanjavur). 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 ("Female Education"), which he addressed to his daughters.