ADRIAN, ARTHUR ALLEN (April 24, 1906 - 21 Oct. 1996) was professor of English at CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY and one of the world's leading authorities on the author Charles Dickens. He was born in Moundridge, Kansas, to Helena Harms and Peter Paul Adrian, and grew up working on the family farm. He graduated from Heston Academy and earned his B.S. from Emporia State University (1929) in Emporia, Kansas, while teaching in a one-room rural school house. For the next seven years, Adrian taught high school and during his summers pursued graduate work at the University of Kansas, which awarded him the M.A. in 1935. He then served as an instructor at the University of Kansas from 1936-39, saving enough money to enter the Ph.D. program at the University of Chicago. Within a year his money ran out, and Adrian taught for another four years, at both the University of Chicago and the University of Oregon, before resuming his doctoral work at Western Reserve Univ. in 1944. Awarded a two-year fellowship, Adrian completed his Ph.D. in 1946 and began his tenure as an assistant professor at what later became Case Western Reserve Univ.
During twenty-eight years of teaching at Case, Adrian earned a reputation as a Dickens scholar beginning with his first book, Georgina Hogarth and the Dickens Circle (1957). He authored numerous articles in scholarly journals and encyclopedias, and continued to do research as a professor emeritus after his retirement in 1974. His other books included Mark Lemon, First Editor of "Punch" (1966), and Dickens and the Parent-Child Relationship (1984). Adrian received numerous honors and awards for his scholarship and teaching. He was invited to Westminster Abbey for the annual wreath laying on Dickens's grave in 1962, and was principal lecturer at the Dickens Centenary held at London University in 1970. He also lectured in Scotland and Japan. In 1947 Adrian married Vonna Hicks, also a student of English literature and an accomplished poet.