The 1892 trial of serial killer Dr. Thomas Neill Cream put both Cream and the professionals involved in the case on trial. The judge simultaneously presided over Cream’s conviction and the exoneration of the professionals. Controlling the terms of professionalism and repairing the damage to the professional image that this scandalous case caused became a critical subtext to the trial. The Cream murder trial and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes both grapple with questions of professional conduct, status, and worth becoming influential (if unrecognized) voices in the ongoing discourse surrounding Victorian male professionalism. The remarkable popularity of the Sherlock Holmes series is closely tied to the Holmesian performance of a professional ideal. Each tale encapsulates both a model of expertise and an implicit critique of men not fulfilling this model, thus contributing to the growing cultural power of the nineteenth-century professional male.


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pp. 57-95
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