|St. Stephen's Review Presentation Cartoon|
The Victoria & Albert Museum
The identities of the performers are shown on name plates which are attached to a set of strings being manipulated by two black-suited figures seated under the stage. One of the puppeteers wears a black half mask and is shown next to a dagger and pistol (both discarded on the ground beside him). Two additional puppets wait in a box beside the mysterious puppeteers whose names are marked as O'Shea and O'Donnell. The names of the puppets appear to be Labby, Granville, Trevelyan, Gladstone, Harcourt, Herbert, Sir W Lawson, Bradlaugh and Morley—contemporary Members of Parliament.
The caption below the image, “Parnell's Puppets,” is best explained as a reference to Charles Stewart Parnell (1846-1891), an Irish Protestant landowner, nationalist political leader, land reform agitator, and the founder and leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party.
The piece was published on December 22nd 1888 and now resides in the George Speaight Punch & Judy Collection.