I have studied a bit of architectural history over the past few years and discovered how much I love the subject. John Wilson's Historical Styles: Decor class gave me the beginning of, what I hope, is a lifelong interest in the history of design.
As you can imagine, its important for set designers to have an understanding of visual and social history in order to design well for the stage. Two productions I've done at SFSU use Victorian architecture. Both In the Next Room and Much Ado About Nothing allowed me to do a lot of research in this time period.
Set design for In the Next Room at San Francisco State University's Little Theater © Claire Rice Photography
Now, a book published in 2015 has peaked my interest in all things Victorian again, but this time by a couple living the Victorian life in our own era. This Victorian Life by Sarah A. Chrisman, is "part memoir, part micro-history", an "exploration of the present through the lens of the past." Check it out and let me know what you think. Ms. Chrisman has also written Victorian Secrets, which I hope to pick up as well.