Analyses the circumstances in which predominantly European children have been 'lost' in the Australian environment. Pierce examines the incidence of lost children in the latter half of the 19th century through depictions in Australian fiction, colonial newspapers and art works, noting in particular the role of Aboriginal trackers in these events. In addressing the 20th century, Pierce incorporates the ideas of abandonment and crimes against children along with the continuing themes of loss and recovery. For this latter period he utilises film and theatre depictions in addition to fiction and factual accounts. Underlying the entire work is the sense that the lost child symbolises the "essential if never fully resolved anxieties within the white settler communities" of Australia.