The place and time: London 1956. The friends in question: Sir Anthony Blunt, Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures, and Joe Losey, film director and refugee from McCarthyism. Their meeting: the National Gallery, in front of Poussin's disturbing metaphor. Into this landscape, Rufus Gunn introduces a cast of celebrities: Vita Sackville-West, Arthur Miller, Anthony Eden, Ben Nicholson, in a plot where fiction blends effortlessly with fact, as the US intelligence services press the British government to take action against the homosexual peril. Brilliantly evoking the political and intellectual life of the high Cold War, A Friendship of Convenience recreates a world where the appearance of politeness and civility covered up a reality of cynicism and betrayal.