Another weird idea of the Victorian Era, based on the incomplete understanding of science at the time, was that you could tell someone's character (generous, charitable versus violent, criminal...etc) based on the shape of their skull. We now know that this theory is NOT true, but at the time, many people believed it.
Who better to tell us about the Victorians than the BBC? They have a great site about the Victorian Era--good for evidence about how society was changing and progressing. Remember to click on the different sections on the left (money, railway, etc).
The Norton Anthology of English Literature Norton Topics Online: Victorian Age
Check out the first paragraph, and then click on the links in the left-hand sidebar (industrialization, the "woman question," imperialism, etc).
FYI: The Norton Anthology is a textbook that you'll likely use in college if you take a survey of British Literature course. They always provide good background on the different historical periods of their literature.