A friend of mine read an early draft and unsurprisingly found the repetition rather confusing – hence the advice to use different names in any book on how to write historical fiction. Although I’d already shortened Thomas to Tom in the case of More and Wolsey, I saw it wasn’t enough. It came in handy that the central character, Thomas Howard, a grand old man of nearly eighty, didn’t suffer fools (or those who stood in his way) gladly so I came up with the idea of his using rather unkind nicknames. From then on, Henry VII who’d had Thomas thrown in the Tower (after Bosworth Field) became ‘Goose’. As for Henry VIII’s loyal servant, Thomas Wolsey, he was the upstart who definitely put Thomas Howard’s long nose out of joint when he “first slithered into the service” of Henry VIII. He became ‘Snake’, and I only hope it has made all my Thomases and Henries easier to follow. It certainly simplified matters for me.