Marie-Anne Barbier was born in Orléans to a family of middle-class craftsmen. Near the end of the 17th century, she was in Paris, attending the salon of Marie Mancini and reading some early writings of which no trace remains today. Her literary efforts were encouraged by the poet Martin Baraton and playwright Edme Boursault, who served as mentors. In 1701, she published a short piece on Mademoiselle Scudéry in the Mercure Galant. She wrote for the theater, and is best known for her four major tragedies: Arria and Petus (1702), Cornelia (1703) Tomyris (1707) and The Death of Caesar (1709). Later she wrote comedies such as Le Faucon (The Falcon, 1719), performed by the Comédie-Française, and the libretti for two operas, Les Fêtes de l'été (The Holidays of Summer, 1716 or 1718) and Le Jugement de Pâris (The Judgment of Paris), which were performed by the Académie Royale de Musique of the Paris Opera. She also published a periodical, Saisons littéraires (Literary Seasons), with influential theater reviews.