Ghani (Iran and the Rise of Reza Shah; Iran and the West), a lawyer and Iranian scholar, here provides more of a historical overview of Shakespeare's Eastern inspirations than a significant contribution to literary criticism. The first four chapters provide historical background, while the final chapter provides an extensive listing of Persian and Eastern references in Shakespeare's plays; however, there is no overarching framework to tie the references together or point to a larger significance within Shakespeare's work. Although Ghani's book is a pleasant read and takes on an aspect of Shakespeare studies that has not been as extensively researched as some of the more mainstream topics, it is rather basic and lightweight. Those seeking a scholarly treatment of this topic would do better with John Michael Archer's Old Worlds: Egypt, Southwest Asia, India, and Russia in Early Modern English Writing, D.L. Johanyak's Shakespeare's World, or even John William Draper's Orientalia and Shakespeareana(1978). An optional purchase for academic libraries.
Felicity D. Walsh