The thing I find most interesting about Victorian literature is that is works on several levels. On the one level there are the actual stories themselves, some of which are reasonably entertaining. On another level, there is all the history. It's an incomplete history, because only people from a certain subsection of society had the time to write books. Then what they wrote was not totally realistic, it was dramatized up to make it interesting. Nevertheless, you don't get science fiction books written by aliens or people from the future, but you do get historical books written by people from the past. Those people lived in a culture with different values and prejudices different to today. Another thing you can do with a long dead author, which is sort of impolite to do with a living author, is learn how their own lives impacted their fiction. I suppose most authors would not like to be laid bare like this, at least while they are still alive. I am not sure enough is known about Shakespeare to know how his personal life was reflected in his books. He definitely reacted to the politics of his day. You can speculate to some degree with Jane Austen, for example her short-lived engagement to Mr Bigelow and her romance with Tom Lefroy that was cut short. The Brontes laid themselves open, particularly Charlotte. Their life stories are in part why they are loved so much. I think Dickens is the exemplar though. Everyone has heard about him working in a blacking factory as a boy, his changing views on Jews, his problems portraying young women, his treatment of his wife and taking up with his mistress, all of which was reflected in his books. I think Dickens was clever is appointing his own biographer, his friend John Forster, and supplying him with material. Something else about the Victorian era is that is it a sort of transition period between today and the more feudal times. You had basically everything you have today, just in a more primitive state. You had your technology, your science, your business, your social reform. You still had a lot of religion and class, and in those days an expanding empire. It's a long time ago and yet still quite modern.