The belief that Britain s empire markets were soft is well entrenched in the literature. It is, however, a belief that has been largely untested. Indeed, the literature does not even offer an explicit definition of softness. This article attempts to fill this gap by discussing the meaning of the term and then posing the question whether between 1870 and 1914 Britain s fastest growing marketsa??Australasia and Canadaa??can in fact reasonably be labelled soft, as has often been assumed. The article concludes that the demand for British imports in these markets was driven more by considerations of income and price than by colonial sentiment or preference.