Although England is claimed to be "the birth place of privacy", historians also suggest that privacy as we know it today was difficult, if not virtually impossible, to attain early modern England, especially in the country house. The lack of provacy in the country house resulted not so much from its conflation with domesticity as from the hieraechical social relations that both informed anf were strengthened by architectural plans. In contrast, the garden and grove in the country estate, due to their lack og soild boundaries and rigis spatial organization, were less restrictive, albeit no less artifical, spaces than the country house. They could also release the individual temporarily from the domestic hierarchy that reg-ulated and monitored his conduct and interaction with others, and hence provide the oppoetunities for alternative forms of privacy that were unavailable in the country house. Although relatively free from the hierarchcical structure that rules the country house,the garden and grove were subject to the influences of other social and cultural customs or traditions. As illustrated in drama amd love poetry, renaissance gargen had the reputation of being the site of erotic encounters. By shielding potential sexual misdeeds from the public view, the garden constituted an ambivalent space whose privecy, however spiritually re-warding it might be, was simultaneously suspicious, if not dangerous, to the community. On the coun-trary, the grove due to its association with social rank and class privileges served as a better place wh-ere privacy could be constructed. By ecploring the different social cintexts of the garden and the grove, this article aims to examine the multiple meanings of privacy in different class and gender re-lations. While attending to the ambivalent representation of privacy in the garden, I hopeto unveil the ways in which both Aemilia Lanyer's "The Description of Cooke-ham" and Andrew Marvell's "Upon App-letton House" locate privacy in the wood by construing it as a dimension of certain social practices in alter-native social environments. Despite their different emphasis, the pursuit of privacy is not to assert the individual's right to be left alone, but to pave the way back to the community.