Barrère was born in Paris in 1914 and was educated at the Sorbonne. During the Second World War he served in the 32e Régiment d'Infanterie and the 1re Armée Française, and was awarded the Croix de Guerre. He held the following academic posts: Teacher of French and Classics, Lycée d'Amiens, 1940-42; Assistant Lecturer on French Literature, Sorbonne, 1942-46; Lecturer on French Literature, Institut Français, London, 1946-49; Lecturer on French Literature then Professor of French Literature, University of Lyons, 1949-50; Professor of French Literature, Ibrahim University, Cairo, 1950-52; Professor at Lyons, 1952-54; Professor of French Literature, University of Cambridge, 1954-82; Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge, 1957-1985. Barrère published several books between 1946 and 1984, mostly relating to Victor Hugo. He married in 1941 and had three sons and three daughters. Barrère died in Cambridge in Oct. 1985.
Transcripts of notebooks of Victor Hugo, June 1858 - April 1859, with notes. The original notebooks are St John's College MS N.30 nos. 4 and 5.
Given by Barrère's widow in 1986.