A judge's daughter and the wife of an aristocrat, Lady Runcie-Campbell is torn between two ideologies.
On the one hand, following her Christian upbringing, she feels that everyone should be treated equally, but at the same time her role as head of the estate in the absence of her husband, forces her to adopt the cold, class-conscious stance which strives to maintain the hierarchy.
The inner conflict which ensues leads to her maltreatment of Calum and Neil and also allows Duror’s insanity to go unchecked.
Essentially Lady Runcie-Campbell is a weak character, who makes several misjudgements - she places her trust in Duror, ignoring his ever-increasing unsettling behaviour and she casts aside the cone-gatherers because they challenge her role as authoritarian.
By acting in such a manner she betrays her religion and ultimately herself. Her power to change the course of events is made clear early on when Duror first visits her.
Such is her beauty and grace that Duror is afraid that
in her presence he might be shamed or inspired into abandoning his scheme against the cone-gatherers.
For Duror, she represents the hand that might
help him out of that mire of torment. However, despite its
glittering rings, this hand is
never visible, nor strong enough to have any tangible effect.