Victorian values meant brutalizing people who were often poor.
I think every first-person narrator in a novel should be compromised. I prefer that word to 'unreliable.'
In Victorian fiction, there would be a chapter at the end devoted to righting all of the wrongs. I thought to right all of the wrongs would be too glib. I thought it would be better to lull the reader into thinking that is the way it would work, but then not to do that.
Living with my grandmother in Bath, I sort of thought I was living in the 19th century. My grandmother was someone who, in a way, was rather defiantly trying to live a pre-World War I existence.
For me, it would be pointless to write a novel that I knew I could complete within a specific length of time. I could do that only by repeating something I had done before, and I've never wanted to do that.