In Britain's intellectual and ruling circles, the empire generated frequent debate. There were arguments about its economic benefits compared with the costs of rule; the roles of religious ambitions, commercial interests, and national rivalries; the moral legitimacy of colonial rule; and the ways in which colonies could best be administered. There were a few British women who managed to play significant roles in this discourse. This chapter discusses three whose voices were important in the nineteenth century: Harriet Martineau, Mary Kingsley, Flora Shaw Lugard. Martineau would continue to address questions about the empire throughout her long career, in more than a dozen books and hundreds of articles. She wrote most about Ireland and India. Kingsley played an ambiguous role: at times she voiced support for traditional gender norms, but the experiences she reported in her books implicitly made a mockery of them.