The Daughters of Satan – novel by Sandra Shulman

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The Daughters of Satan is a horror novel by Sandra Shulman. The novel was first published in 1968 by Paperback Library Inc under the title The Daughters of Astoroth, but is better known under this title, which it was first published as by New English Library in 1969.

This is one of the first of the legendary NEL pulp fiction novels that would become hugely popular throughout the 1970s as the publisher cashed in on youth cults like skinheads and bikers, and published numerous slim but salacious novels that ranged from horror to action to erotica.

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Although Shulman was an American author, the novel is set in Snowdonia, Wales and London, and tells the story of a investigation into a finishing school, run by a Dr Ambrose Anstruther and a sinister German, after several of its pupils commit suicide. Professor Niall Tregellis, academic, ex-army man and occult expert, is sent to find out what is going on. What does he find? To quote the cover blurb:

“The Abbey of Light – England’s most exclusive finishing school – is just a front for a Satanist with terrible powers. Behind its doors unholy black magic ceremonies take place – girls become spiritually and sexually enslaved to their diabolical master.”

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Rather ambitiously compared to Dennis Wheatley and Rosemary’s Baby by NEL, this is perhaps more accurately described as “complete tosh” by trashfiction.co.uk. Nevertheless, it’s entertaining enough for fans of pulp horror, and at 128 pages, is unlikely to swallow up a great deal of your time. It is unrelated to the 1972 film of the same name.

Shulman was a prolific author, who mostly wrote gothic romances but also dabbled in horror, non-fiction and even authored a few  Dark Shadows novels.

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