Dickens and Browne were friends as well as close collaborators. Dickens took him on in person — Thackeray also applied, and helped Browne celebrate by taking him out for a dinner of sausages and stout. Dickens and Browne travelled everywhere together in the early years of their long working relationship, and played battledore and shuttlecock together. His illustrations for many of Dickens’ best-known novels did much to shape the public perception of the characters. When Browne took over illustrating the serialised ‘Pickwick Papers’, sales increased a hundred-fold. Eventually, after 23 years, they drifted apart.