Malcolm Bradbury

It's a classic, and it will survive. Why? Because of its extraordinary time-span, coupled with the variety of its scenes. Plus, it has a very good style. It's not a nostalgic trip to Jane Austen land, but a serious form of social commentary.

David Lodge

There's no harm in the class aspect. It is limited in its interest, in that it doesn't offer a panoramic picture of society, as you find in George Eliot. But it does hold a sceptical and ironic view of the upper classes. That said, I don't think it's likely to be a major classic. It will continue to have a life as a minor one, but it won't be in the premier division.

Auberon Waugh

Two good jokes per volume - we have to do better than that!