A Verbal Abuser Defined Me: I’m No Longer His Opinion of Me - A verbal abuser wants you to think you are what he says you are and nothing more. You are his to mold, he thinks. Don't be his opinion of you. Read this.
"Remarkable Creatures", by Tracy Chevalier. So not really Victorian, but definitely 19th century. A fascinating glimpse at the hobby--and passion--of fossil hunting, and how it dictated and defined the lives of two women who refused to fit the mold.
Interesting quote “Simply this, then: How best to make a hero? Give him a means by which he might define himself so. Set up a field of black against which his white will be yet more blinding…Yes, I speak of Thor. My stepbrother, filled with energy and ambition. How to mold him according to your will? Why, Mold a villain alongside him.” (would love to know where this quote is from)