The younger sister of Frederick Pottle, Nellie Pottle was born in Otisfield, Maine, the daughter of Fred Leroy Pottle and Anette Kemp. In 1933 she married John Erskine Hankins (1905-1996), who in 1956 became head of the English Department at the University of Maine.1
She earned a doctorate from Kansas University, and a master's degree in English from Yale, and over the course of her career held teaching appointments at Spelman College, Atlanta, and at the Universities of New Hampshire, Kansas, Massachusetts, and Maine.2
Nellie Pottle Hankins was co-editor of the 8th volume of the Yale editions of Boswell's correspondence, the Correspondence with James Bruce and Andrew Gibb, Overseers of the Auchinleck Estate. As was the case with her sister-in-law and the Catalogue of the Papers of James Boswell, Nellie didn't live to see her own major contribution to Boswellian scholarship in print, the volume being published in 1998, five years after her death.