Posted in General Interest, Naomi Baltuck, Photo Essay, Photography/Photographer

This Precious Stone Set in a Silver Sea


This royal throne of kings…

… this sceptred isle.

This earth of majesty…

…this seat of Mars.

This other Eden…


This fortress built by Nature for herself.

Against infection…

…and the hand of war.

This happy breed of men…

…this little world.

This precious stone…

…set in the silver sea…

…Which serves it in the office of a wall.

Or as a moat defensive to a house,

Against the envy of less happier lands,—

This blessed plot…

…this earth…

…this realm…

…this England.

Words by William Shakespeare, from King Richard II. Act ii. Sc. 1.

All images copyright 2014 Naomi Baltuck

NaomiPHOTO1-300ppi51kAqFGEesL._SY300_NAOMI BALTUCK ~ is a Contributing Editor and Resident Storyteller here410xuqmD74L._SY300_ at Bardo. She is a world-traveler and an award-winning writer, photographer, and story-teller whose works of fiction and nonfiction are available through Amazon HERE. Naomi presents her wonderful photo-stories – always interesting and rich with meaning and humor – at Writing Between the Lines, Life from the Writer’s POV. She also conducts workshops such as Peace Porridge (multicultural stories to promote cooperation, goodwill, and peaceful coexistence), Whispers in the Graveyard (a spellbinding array of haunting and mysterious stories), Tandem Tales, Traveling Light Around the World, and others. For more on her programs visit Naomi


When not actually writing, I am researching the world with my long-suffering husband and our two kids, or outside editing my garden. My novel, The Keeper of the Crystal Spring (Viking Penguin), can be read in English, German, Spanish, and Italian. My storytelling anthology, Apples From Heaven, garnered four national awards, including the Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice. I am currently working on a contemporary women’s novel.

14 thoughts on “This Precious Stone Set in a Silver Sea

    1. In my hurry to get out of the city, I have not yet made it to Hampton Court, but I have promised myself that I would get there on the next trip.
      Thanks so much for the visit, and for taking the time to share some of your story!


  1. Thank you for taking us to places some of us will never see. The artifacts of days gone by always intrigue. Samuel Pepys brings back memories of school days. I remember reading his diary and two biographies to do a comparison. I was shocked to find out that he had his maid sleep on the floor outside his door and that he hit her and went to watch executions among other unhealthy things. I’m not quite sure now what made me choose to study him … So many others I could have delved into. Oh well! Kid’s stuff. I think the nuns thought it odd to, but they let me do it. High school. Loved that you combined these pics with W.S. quote. Just perfect.


    1. Dear Jamie,
      Thanks so much for sharing a truly interesting story! Pepys is not someone I would want to share a room or even a house with, but he is an incredible source of information about the times and for learning about the day to day life in Jolly Olde (and sometimes the not so jolly) England.


    1. Thank you, Scilla. I can follow my mother’s roots all the way back to Sweden and Denmark by way of England. I didn’t expect to feel them, so it was truly a surprise on my first trip to England to actually feel the tugs on my ancestral roots.
      Thank you for the visit, and for sharing your thoughts–heighho to you too, m’lady!


  2. Pictorial Shakespeare … brilliantly done, Naomi, I like this a lot.

    By the way, don’t you ever come to England again, without fitting a visit to Yorkshire into your schedule 😉


    1. Thank you for your very kind words and invitation. I love York and Yorkshire. The last time I was there I was very moved to visit Stamford Bridge, where King Harold Godwinson won his last glorious victory against Harald Hardrada. I will certainly be back and when I do, I hope I can take you out to tea!


    1. Hi Victoria,
      I think wherever we go there is history and beauty of all kinds, if only we look for it. But it was very very easy to find it in England! I hope you get there soon.
      Thanks so much for the visit!


  3. Agh! Now I want to visit there even more! I think I would much prefer the rural areas of England than the city areas. Once again, your pictures suit perfectly. I think The Bard would be very pleased to have his words put to such marvelous imagery! 🙂


    1. I usually fly into Gatwick, the smaller airport southwest (I think) of London, and head straight for thatched roof country. I prefer to explore the back roads and little villages. On my last trip I took with my daughter, and she really wanted to see London, so I ventured into the city to take her to The Tower of London, and some of the other places so rooted in English history. It was actually much easier than I thought. But for sheer poetry, give me Gold Hill in Dorset any day!
      Thank you so much for your very kind response to this piece.


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