Elsa Meyers is a young woman film maker developing a film about a little known poet Valentine Siddons who was alleged to have been a hero in the First World War. When her researcher mysteriously disappears with all his papers, Elsa is obliged to explore the poet’s past herself. This leads to the discovery that Valentine Siddons may not have been quite the hero he was made out to be. Elsa is helped in her investigations by the poet’s grandson with whom she has an affair while failing to notice the attention of Simon, her employer at Durban Films. Patrimony combines the nostalgic suspense of Robert goddard with the biting observation of the contemporary media world of Kathy Lette.