The Royal Literary Fund was set up in 1790 to help professional authors. Past beneficiaries have included Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Joseph Conrad, D H Lawrence and Dylan Thomas. Last year it helped 200 writers, though not all of them are quite so famous yet. In 1999 a Fellowship scheme was established to place writers in universities to help students with their writing skills. Since it began it has placed 450 writers in posts at 120 higher education institutions. The inaugural RLF Lecture at Hay is given by the pre-eminent biographer of Shelley and Coleridge, author of The Age of Wonder, Footsteps: Adventures of a Romantic Biographer and Sidetracks: Explorations of a Romantic Biographer.