A time of rapid industrialization and burgeoning consumerism, the nineteenth century was full of things, a physical reality that is mirrored in the heavily material story worlds of Victorian literature. My dissertation investigates how objects do things in texts, exhibiting a mattered, agentic existence that decenters the human and proposes a materially-centered textual reality. In the writings of Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Wilkie Collins, and others, a particular set of objects-portraits, dresses, dolls, and letters-is characterized by their shared representation of the human body and the ways in which they act with, against, and independently of the characters they represent. These texts and objects emphasize the essential material components of textual realities and the ways in which objects have agency within the narrative to redefine the mattered framework of the text. The objects in this study operate on a spectrum of agency that emphasizes their role as active matter in their parent text. Going beyond the historical and cultural models that usually inform readings of things in Victorian literature, I investigate how these objects are active in upending the primacy of the human and constructing new assemblages of possibility and potentiality that cannot be accessed by the human alone. Each chapter traces the development of the agentic object in one or more texts as they reshape the structure of their fictional reality to allow objects to exist alongside with, rather than subservient to, their human creators and audiences. Acknowledging the ways in which things in texts have functioned historically and culturally in the nineteenth century, this dissertation examines how they operate textually, offering a differently centered narrative world that reimagines the role of objects as primary actors in constructing fictional realities.