This project could not have commenced without the PhD funding I received from the Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation and the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute. Further funding was provided by a SOAS Postgraduate Fieldwork Award. Funding for colour pictures produced herein was provided by the Isobel Thornely Bequest Fund, the Society for South Asian Studies and the Royal Asiatic Society.
This book was written with the help and encouragement of a large number of people both in India and the UK. To my PhD supervisor, Giles Tillotson, I offer my gratitude for reading and discussing my many drafts with such interest and enthusiasm. Others in London who have advised on and encouraged my research are Daud Ali, Stuart Blackburn, Julia Leslie, George Michell, Burton Stein, Tania Tribe and Michael Willis. I must also thank all the staff of the SOAS Information Technology Department and all my colleagues who took part in Dr Tillotson's research seminars.
In India, research assistance was further provided by Mr Kamal of Ramnad, Mr Pappadurai of Shivagangai, Dr Sarasvati Venugopal of Madurai, Mr Sadashivam of Pudukkottai and Mr C. Rajaram Pandian, chairman of the Divan's office, Ramnad. My fieldwork was greatly assisted by the hospitality, enthusiasm and good influence of the many royal families of southern Tamil Nadu. In particular, I want to thank Rema Devi R. Tondaiman, Rajagopal Tondaiman and his wife Charru, Vijayalakshmi Doriaraja, Meena V.R. Tondaiman, Srimathi Rajalakshmi Raguraj, Rani Indiradevi Setupati, Raja N. Kumaran Setupati and his wife Lakshmi, Dinakaraj Setupati, Parvatharaj Setupati, Mrs T. Subhadra and Mr M. Segar. I must also acknowledge the hospitality extended to me by all the staff of the École Française d'Extrême Orient at Pondicherry. It was my particular honour to have known Françoise L'Hernault. The help she extended to researchers such as me was legendary.
Permission to enter buildings and take my own photographs was granted by Mr Natana Kasinathan, Director of the Archaeological Survey of Tamil Nadu; Dr C.S. Patil, Deputy Director of the Archaeological Survey of Karnataka; Mr S.S. Nayak, Superintending Archaeologist of the Tipu