Based on the first ten pages or so that I read, I have no hesitation in recommending A R Venkatachalapathy’s The province of the book: Scholars, Scribes and Scribblers in Colonial Tamilnadu. I learnt about the book thanks to Pradeep Sebastian’s Endpaper column in the Hindu. Here is another review in the Hindu. Once again, must, must read! Will post more once I complete the book!