Corner meaning a place or a region, as in 'a quiet corner of England', dates from the 1500s. Corner, as in a difficult situation, is first cited in this figurative sense from the early 19th century and derives from boxing when a boxer is cornered by an opponent. Equally, a boxer can be dangerous when cornered and fight his way out. Later, in the early 20th century, it was applied to motor racing e.g. 'in a tight corner'. To paint oneself or someone into a corner is first cited from the early 19th century. To drive someone into a corner is first cited from the mid-19th century. To be in someone’s corner is to support or back someone and also derives from boxing, used figuratively since the mid-20th century. See also the Four corners of the Earth/world.