Marion Isabel Starbird was born in Maine on October 23, 1897. She graduated from Colby College, and in 1920 married Frederick Pottle, who was to become the best known and most influential Boswellian scholar in the 20th century.
Frederick and Marion Pottle had three children; Marion survived two of them plus her husband and died a short time before her own magnum opus, the catalogue of the Boswell papers of Yale, was finally published in 1993.
In 1929 she gave up her own professional career at the Yale Law Library, in order to help her husband with the cataloguing of the Boswell papers in the possession of Ralph Isham. Like her husband, she continued to work on the subject almost until her death.
Marion Pottle's primary contribution to Boswellian scholarship is the impressive annotated three-volume catalogue of the Boswell papers in the possession of Yale University. She started working on this in 1949, and the manuscript was near complete and in proof in the late 1970s. For various reasons, however, final publication of the catalogue was delayed until the year after her death.