This introduction provides general information on the development of the Tamil language placing it in the context of Dravidian family of languages, history of Tamil language and history of Tamil literature (up to 1900). The author highlights translation activities happening both ways: in Tamil up to 1750 and after 1750 with particular reference to English. The colonial encounter became a crucible for forging some fruitful products. Bilingual dictionary-making and its complex generic and semantic features, the emerging notion of a nation facilitated by print media and state patronage constituting a double-edged ideology, translation of Christian scripture aiding conversion and promoting an indigenisation of theological terms and concepts, missionary interest in the moral and ethical tradition of ancient Tamils leading to excellent English translations of Tirukkural and Naladiyar, attention to popular language in the Tamil proverbs led to arresting English renderings with comparative cultural glossing, religious interaction also opening up gender issues and spurring women’s creativity in the first ever English articulation of the value of women’s education, exploration of freedom from social constraints and resistance to religious taboos touching the mores of both Hinduism and Christianity, as represented by the twin novels Kamala and Saguna, and what is more their reverse translation in Tamil, constitute the critical concerns of the volume.