Sir Eric Anderson was educated in his native Scotland at St Andrews University and in Oxford at Balliol. He taught at Fettes College and Gordonstoun and was headmaster of Abingdon School, Shrewsbury School and Eton College, before becoming Rector of Lincoln College, Oxford, and then Provost of Eton. His most important scholarly work is his Clarendon Press edition of Sir Walter Scott’s Journal.
He has served as chairman of the Heritage Lottery Fund and of Cumberland Lodge, and as a trustee of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust , the Wordsworth Trust and the Abbotsford Trust. He has honorary degrees from the universities of St Andrews, Hull, Siena, Birmingham and Aberdeen, and is an honorary fellow of Balliol, Lincoln College and Eton. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE) and a Knight of the Thistle (KT).