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S. Jeyaseela Stephen

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ABOUT THE BOOK

This monograph tells the fascinating history of how since the advent of the Portuguese in the sixteenth century books came to be printed in Tamil. It explains how the printing press served as instrument of domination under the European missionaries and it gradually came to be spread among the natives under the East India companies and became the bridge between the colonizer and the natives. The study reconstructs the map of the publishing industry and technology of the early modern age and analyses the different types of production like the journals, pamphlets, newspapers, calendars and advertisements, their main characteristics, the socio-cultural composition of their recipients, their methods of use and dimension. The volume explores initiation of modern prose in Tamil as a transformative achievement through printing and how it contributed to the literary journey of Tamils, by examining the close connection with religious, educative and scientific practices promoted. The enriched printings changed the cognitive systems of learning and reading by optimizing and speeding up the operations in Tamil society. It helps in understanding the use of publications by broadening the horizon of understanding our modernity.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

S. Jeyaseela Stephen is Directeur, Institut pour études Indo Européennes. He was Professor of Maritime History (2001-2013) at Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan. He is the author numerous books on maritime history of early modern India including 'Oceanscapes: Tamil Textiles in the Early Modern World' (2014), 'A Meeting of the Minds: European and Tamil Encounters in Modern Sciences, 1507-1857' (2016), 'Pondicherry under the French: Illuminating the Urban Landscape' (2018), 'Towns of the Tamil Coast and Hinterland: The Changing Form and Function, 1506-1801' (2019), 'Goodbye to Tamil Motherland: The Rise of Labour Migration Overseas and the Society', 1729-1890' (2019), 'Natural History Knowledge, Tamil Coast and the Atlantic Within Reach, 1639-1857' (2019). He received the best book prize of the year 1999 from the Government of Tamilnadu. His books have been translated into Chinese and Tamil.

CONTENTS

Preface .......................................................................................... .......... 7

Acknowledgements ............................................................................................ 9

IIIustrations .................................................................................................... 11

Abbreviations .................................................................................................. 15

1. Introduction ......................................................................................... 17

2. The Art of Printing Tamil Books in the Letter Press of the Jesuits in South India, 1578-1679 .............................................. 27

3. The Letter Press of the Danish-Halle Mission in Tranquebar and the Landmarks in Printing Tamil Books,

Pamphlets and Calendars, 1712-99 ....................................................................... 51

4. The Letter Press of the English Company and Protestant Missionaries in Madras, Palayamkottai and Nagercoil:
Printing Books, Pamphlets, Journals, Newspapers and Advertisements in Tamil, 1766-1857 ............................................. 93

5. Tamil Authors, Editors and Print Capitalists in Madras: Printing Books, Journals and Newspapers, 1812-57 .......................... 133

6. The Letter Press of the Catholic Missionaries in Pondicherry and the Religious Literature Printed in Tamil, 1841-73 ..................... 153

7. Printing Tamil Grammar, Dictionary, Poetry and Textbooksin the Mission Press,

Government Press and in the College Printing Press in Pondicherry, 1838-73 .............................................. 221

8. The Litho Press in Pondicherry and Madras: An Expanding Horizon of Printing Tamil Books, 1859-69 ........................................ 249

9. The Diffusion of Tamil Printing in Halle, Hamburg, Dresden, Erlangen, London, Colombo and Jaffna, 1671-1873 .......................... 267

10. Conclusion ......................................................................................... 303

Select Bibliography ............................................................................ 315

Index .................................................................................................. 345


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