Tamil historical novels

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Tamil historical novels are a genre of Tamil literature that began to appear in the mid-19th century.


Prathapa Mudaliar Charithram ("The Life of Prathapa Mudaliar"), written in 1857 and published in 1879, was the first novel in the Tamil language. The novel does not involve historical characters or events but is set in royal times. Penned by Mayuram Vedanayakam 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. One can see style of any Tamil author in this novel.

Aabathukidamaana Abavadham -or- Kamalaambaal Charithram is written by Rajamyyeer from Vathalakundu in later part of nineteenth century is the first Tamil novel depicting the real life of people living. The author worked in Tamil daily Dinamani and had a very short life - 26 years. Considering the period in which he lived and wrote, he created waves in emancipation of women's life, incomparable to any social reformist. In this story he conducted marriage to a Brahmin widow. Had he lived further and wrote more, the style of modern Tamil prose would have been different.

Authors like Kalki Krishnamurthy, Akilan wrote historical novels during the Indian independence movement to instil patriotic pride in the people. Most historical novels were serialised in Tamil magazines before being published in book form. The advent of netzines has seen new web based historical writers entering the arena.

Online novels[edit]

Historic short story collection[edit]

  • Madhurakavi, (Tamil: மதுரகவி) written by Gokul Seshadri, is a collection of Historic Short Stories. Each of them are based on specific inscriptions copied from the Temples of Tamil Nadu by the Department of Epigraphy. Originally published as a series in Varalaaru.com, it was later published as a book by Palaniappa Brothers. Click Here to view the book

See also[edit]


  • Asher, R.E., "The Tamil Renaissance and the beginnings of the Tamil novel", in Clark, Thomas Welbourne, The Novel in India: Its Birth and Development, London: Allen & Unwin, pp. 179–204