A friend from college and fellow native Vermonter sent me the following message via Facebook:
"I've been researching William Godwin's diary (the philosophical anarchist, father of Mary Shelley, hubby of Wollstonecraft). In any case, the man's diary is super intimate, and he records many of his bowel movements, sometimes in Latin, sometimes in French - very decorous. Some history of medicine people confirmed that he probably had bowel cancer - interestingly, when things got quite bad he would go vegetarian for a while (radical for the 19th century) and it would help his regularity. In any case, along with all the Malthusian critiques and political justice, there's a lot of shit, too. Just thought you might appreciate that journaling about one's bowel movements has a long and colorful history!"
It sure does. Thanks Kate!