The Victorian era was a time of great social, scientific, and cultural change. The literary works of that period reflect that change and help us to better understand the Victorian world. This book examines the historical, political, social, and cultural contexts of several important Victorian literary works. The volume also provides historical explanations, literary analyses, and cultural context for each literary work, including primary documents from the nineteenth century. Topics investigated include women's rights, workers' rights, education reforms, marriage laws, race relations, inheritance and heredity, and other issues concerning gender, race, and class in the nineteenth century. Readers will gain a greater understanding of these major literary works as well as their historical context.