Some illustrious names can be found on the Committee of the RLF - Tracy Chevalier is the current President. Founded in 1790, it has been helping writers since Rev David Williams discovered an elderly translator of Plato had been left to die in a debtors' prison. Under the patronage of the Prince Regent a fund was formed to assist writers in distress. Although it has "Royal" in its name, it receives no help from government. From the website:
All of its money has come from donations, legacies and, until 1939, an annual dinner at which Dickens, Thackeray and Kipling, among others, exhorted the guests to be generous. The Fund has also benefitted considerably from the estates of authors including G.K. Chesterton and Arthur Ransome, and in particular those of Somerset Maugham and A.A. Milne. Among those it has assisted in moments of need have been such distinguished names as Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Joseph Conrad, D.H. Lawrence, James Joyce and Dylan Thomas. It supported, too, Robert Burns’s widow and James Boswell’s daughter, the forerunners of the many writers’ families that the Fund has aided.
|Copyright Debbie Ridpath Ohi, "Inky Girl"|