This is an excellent article: What it’s like to wear Victorian corsets and underwear today.
And here’s the book, which I’ve yet to read by will definitely have a look at: Victorian Secrets: What a Corset Taught Me about the Past, the Present, and Myself.
Another book to look into, one that goes into the history of the corset, which is of most interest to me, is The Corset, a Cultural History, by Valerie Steele, and published by Yale University Press.
Ever wonder how ladies got wasp-like waists?
Now you know!
I think the thing that most people miss about corsets or bodies or other boned shape wear is that unless one was very poor, these things were always custom made. A custom corset (or stays, or whatever the period dictates) is going to be a dozen times more comfortable than the off-the-rack models most people try today. Just think of the difference between a gorgeous but uncomfortable shoe and one that fits every last detail of your foot perfectly so you never get blisters or hotspots. Now imagine that difference over your entire torso!
Good points, Julianna. I’m actually tempted to try one, especially given how tender my back is feeling today!