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The standard reading of Dubliners, derived from Richard Ellmann's magisterial biography, holds that James Joyce's view of his native city meliorated during his depressing sojourn in Rome (1906–7) and found its first expression in the final story of the collection, 'The Dead', composed in late 1907. The penultimate story 'Grace', which Joyce completed in the fall of 1906—at the same time as he was reassessing his attitudes toward Ireland and the Irish—was originally to be the culminating story of Dubliners. A closer reading of 'Grace' shows that Joyce had arrived at a more benign attitude toward the inhabitants of Dublin that obtains in his subsequent fictions well in advance of 'The Dead'. 'Grace' and most particularly its portrait of the ambiguous figure of Mr Power illustrate the balance of affection for and criticism of the 'dear' and 'dirty' Dubliners that Joyce would continue to express in Ulysses and Finnegans Wake.