Peyre graduated from the École Normale Superieure and the Sorbonne and received his PhD from the Universite de Paris. In 1925 he started teaching at the Bryn Mawr College, ten miles west of Philadelphia. From 1933 to 1938 he was professor of French literature, and from 1938 to his retirement in 1980 he was Distinguished Professor at the City University of New York Graduate Center.
In 1930 Peyre was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowships. In 1954 he was received a grant from the American Council of Learned Societies in 1954 to do research for his next book, and in 1963, he was a member of the National Commission on the Humanities. In France he was awarded officer of the Légion d'Honneur.
- 1955. The contemporary French novel
- 1962. Essays on English and American literature With Leo Spitzer, and A. Hatcher.
- 1963. Literature and sincerity
- 1967. French Novelists of Today. New York: Oxford UP,
- 2005. Henri Peyre: His Life in Letters. With John W. Kneller and Mario Maurin eds.
Articles, a selection
- 1953. "Exile by Saint-John Perse", Shenandoah, Lexington, vol. V, Winter 1953
- 1964. "André Malraux and the Arts" The Baltimore Museum of Art: Baltimore, Maryland, 1964
- Henri Peyre of Yale Is Dead at 87; Was Sterling Professor of French By SUSAN HELLER ANDERSON. Published: December 10, 1988