Controversy, especially religious controversy, was the great spectator sport of Victorian England. Essays and Reviews, published in 1860, was a composite volume by seven authors which brought to England its first serious exposure to German biblical criticism. It was the culmination and final act of the Broad Church movement. The volume itself was modest in its pretensions and varied in the character and quality of its essays. Yet this work touched Anglican orthodoxy on its most sensitive points and thus caused a controversy. Controversy may be considered as a genre of human activity, which may be studied as one would study a genre of literature or art. The controversy illustrated 'the pathology of Victorian religion' not only in its exposure of the less attractive features of Victorian Christianity but also in its illustration of the propensity to controvert and the methods of controversy of the time.