The Land of Lost Content explores the ways in which nineteenth-century French writers represented childhood and children in their work. Rosemary Lloyd considers poetry, fiction, autobiographies, and letters to trace the ways in which a range of writers gradually responded to changing concepts of the self. After a study of central problems and recurrent motifs encountered in autobiography, a chronological survey of fictional texts shows the development of a series of myths of childhood successively debunked by later writers, who in turn create their own myths. Further chapters explore such central themes as reading, nature, and school, and examine the evolution of a literature in which the child becomes the main protagonist, as well as addressing the question of whether the child figure is merely used as a reductive stereotype. This is the first study of childhood in nineteenth-century France to range from autobiography through major fiction to works for children, and to use as its primary focus the narratological difficulties of recreating childhood.