The style is simple and natural, and reminds us more often of Tennyson’s “Idylls of the King” than any other English poem that we can recollect now.... Throughout, the book is most finely written in rhyme, and the learned author has minted at the forge of Tennyson, to whom the book is most dutifully dedicated, the sentiments of Oliver Goldsmith, Parnell, and Byron.—Hindu.
We must congratulate Mr. Ramakrishna on the success which has attended his, no doubt, pleasing labours. He is the first Hindu graduate, so far as we know, who has come before the public as a poet, and well does he deserve every encouragement.—Madras Standard.
This little poem is an exquisitely finished, harmonious, well-written story of a pair of Hindu lovers.... Mr. Ramakrishna is extremely felicitous in the choice of his words, and his descriptions are so picturesque and vivid, and his narrative so stirring, that the reader feels as if spell-bound by the author’s great skill and power.... There can be no manner of doubt that the hand that wrote these poems is both strong and skilful, and was directed by a true spirit of poesy of a high order.—People’s Friend.
TENNYSON COMMEMORATION MEETING.—At the meeting held in the Christian College, Dr. Miller proposed that the chair should be taken by Mr. T. Ramakrishna Pillai, an old student of the College, who, as many of our readers know, has himself won no small success in the field of poetry.—Christian College Magazine.
Mr. T. Ramakrishna Pillai is probably the only one in Madras, and certainly the only native of India in Madras, who had come into any kind of personal contact with Lord Tennyson.—Speech of the Hon. the Rev. Dr. Miller at the Tennyson Commemoration Meeting.
LIFE IN AN INDIAN VILLAGE.
BY T. RAMAKRISHNA, B.A.
With an Introduction by the Right Hon. Sir M.E. GRANT DUFF, G.C.S.I.
(London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1891.)
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The Occidentals led by Macaulay had too complete a victory for the good of India. Much that they said and did was wise, but their system has failed in many ways, and was, indeed, never intended to breed up men interested in the past of their own land. Nearly all that has been learned about it has been learned by the labour of Europeans, and yet natives trained to European methods of research have facilities of kinds for prosecuting research which we have not.... I had a great deal to say on that subject, and on many other cognate ones in an address which I delivered in my capacity of Chancellor of the University of Madras, shortly before I left the country, but I do not know that it has had much effect since, though an excellent little book by Mr. Ramakrishna on the village life of South India is a step in the right direction. We want, however, quite a small library of works of that kind before the harvest that is ready for the sickle of intelligent native observers is gathered in.—The Right Hon. Sir M.E. Grant Duff, G.C.S.I., in the Contemporary Review.