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 Pillai.
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
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.