The term "realism" is applied without hesitation to much fiction of the 19th century. And yet realism is an odd term, since to be like the real is by definition to be not real. We will examine traditionally realist novels, to see how they do and do not seem to belong under the realist rubric, including works by Dickens, Eliot and Hardy. We will also examine fiction of the Victorian period that does not fall under this rubric--including the sensation novel, as well as science and utopian fictions. We will work toward a larger and more complex sense of what it means to try to "make it real" both within and beyond the boundaries of the nineteenth century novel.