Charles Dickens, whose pen name was Boz, is regarded by many as one of the world's greatest authors. His father, a navy clerk, was - like the fathers in many of Dickens' novels - constantly in and out of debtor's prison, and Dickens was sent to work in a blacking factory at the age of twelve. His parents' failure to educate him was a source of great bitterness to him, and he reacted to this indifference by working incredibly hard for his entire life. Beginning as an office boy in a lawyer's office, in time he became a parliamentary reporter and then a journalist. He wrote The Pickwick Papers at the age of twenty-four, and captured the popular imagination in a way no other novelist had done previously. He continued writing and reading his works in public until his sudden death in 1870.