'This is as much a mystery as the Immaculate Conception, which of itself must make a doctor an unbeliever.' A stunning pair of short stories about faith and sacrificial love. Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage - poems epic and intimate - essays satirical and inspirational - and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions. Honore de Balzac (1799-1850). Balzac's works available in Penguin Classics are Old Man Goriot , Cousin Bette , History of The Thirteen , Selected Short Stories , Cousin Pons , A Harlot High and Low , Eugenie Grandet , The Wild Ass's Skin , The Black Sheep and Lost Illusions .