"e;He is beautiful and radiant with great splendor ... "e; St. Francis, from Cantico del sole Two decades have elapsed since the publication of Solar Prominences, 20 years that have seen a nearly phenomenal increase in the interest, as well as the infor- mation, concerning these fascinating and beautiful manifestations of solar ac- tivity. During this period many meetings have been held, and several books and proceedings have been published, all dealing with specific aspects of solar prominences. However, no unifying and comprehensive accord has appeared. Recently some of my colleagues suggested that the time was ripe for a new addition of Solar Prominences, and Kluwer Academic Publishers wanted to pub- lish such a book. I, therefore, venture to present this monograph in the hope of kindling the interest of some graduate students in the study of this-probably the most spectacular and often the most beautiful of solar activity manifestation. However, since it is the physical processes behind these events that will particu- larly interest us, I also hope the book may be of help to some of my colleagues. In a rapidly developing field of science it is difficult, if not impossible, to present an overview that is up to date in every respect. I have made nearly every effort to include the latest contributions in the broad area of prominence research, but I am sure I have overlooked some important investigations. For these oversights, I apologize.