I'm an English teacher in the hunt for new resources. In the UK, the most popular exam board is AQA and on one of the new GCSE papers students will have to answer questions on two unseen texts: one from the 21st century and one from the 19th century. Curiously, students no longer learn explicitly about the Victorian era in History so I feel that in order for students to make the most perceptive inferences about the two texts they will need their blind-spots (nominally: the Victorian era) diagnosed.
Thus, I am in the process of collecting an array of 19th century non-fiction writing that students can practice on ... so far, I have had lots of success with Dickens (A Walk in the Workhouse" "A Visit to Newgate" etc.) but feel like my initial suggestions are a bit ... old hat! If you do have any suggestions - particularly any that are geared towards social history - please share!