Before reading People of the Abyss my main idea of the Victorian Era was one of gorgeous gowns and high society. When manners were oh-so important, women had few options and marrying for love was not always a choice. Still, according to Jane Austin, a few women may be lucky enough to find their “Mr. Darcy”. I must admit my opinion of the Victorian Era changed dramatically after further research. I can honestly say I was surprised to read the stories in People of the Abyss. I knew times were tough for most non aristocrats but I did not realize just how hard everyday life was. The living conditions for the poor were completely absurd. The fact that while the rich lived lavishly a few blocks away the poor suffered a cold night on the street, opened my eyes to the immense pain and hardships the average person endured everyday.