Mr.V.Kanakasabai Pillai was born in 1855 in Tamil
Nadu. His father Mr. V. Visvanatha Pillai (author of
"Tamil-English Dictionary) was one of the first Sri
Lankans to have graduated in an Indian University in
the early part of the 19th Century. He maintained his
Jaffna connection by taking a wife from Jaffna and
later did the same for his son Mr.V.Kanakasabai
Mr.V.Kanakasabai Pillai was educated in
Madras and obtained a degree in B.A and Law. His first
case was a success, but when he came out of the law
court to board a cart, the losing party threw sand at
him and cursed him. This incident made him to give up
law practice and embark on writing and researching on
the Ancient Civilisation of the Tamils. The result was
the book called " Tamils Eighteen Hundred Years Ago" .
This book contains authentic information about the
ancient Tamils, their culture and literature. Scholars
found this book invaluable and immensely useful as a
reference to future research.
The University of Madras had this book
on their list of text books for many years. The first
publication of this book was in 1904, since then there
were many reprints reflecting the fact that the book is
in demand even after almost a century.
Mr.V.Kanakasabai Pillai passed away in
1906, two years after seeing his hard-work taken shape
in the form of a book.