Recent years have seen growing interest both in the influence of the British Empire on metropolitan culture—what John M. MacKenzie described as “the centripetal effects of Empire”—and in the relationships between gender and imperialism. Early studies of European women and imperialism described the activities of women as “memsahibs,” travellers and colonists in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, challenged the notion that “women lost us the Empire,” and began to analyze the roles of white women in the “man’s world” of imperial rule. More recently attention has been drawn by Vron Ware, Barbara Ramusack and Antoinette Burton to the complex relationships between British and colonized women and, by Burton especially, to the ambiguities of “imperial feminism.” Nevertheless, apart from the well-documented female emigration societies, and the isolated study of Flora Shaw, colonial editor of The Times, by Helen Callaway and Dorothy O. Helly, the considerable activities of women as imperial propagandists have received little attention. This article traces the imperial activism of Violet Markham, the daughter of a Northern industrialist and sister of a Liberal M.P. who, roused from the aimless existence of Victorian young ladyhood by the Boer War, spent much of the Edwardian era promoting the cause of the British Empire. Through a study of her imperial career it explores the options available to an imperialist woman in an era when women were barred from formal politics, and when imperial politics in particular were considered a “masculine” preserve, and considers the obstacles—practical, ideological and psychological—which confronted her.