|Mannerheim married Anastasia Arapova of Russian gentry on the 2nd of May, 1892. Her father, Major-General Nikolai Arapov, had died in 1873 and her mother in 1890.|
Gustaf and Anastasia were acquainted through Anastasias cousin, who was Gustafs service mate. It has been said that Empress Maria Fedorovna was greatly in favour of this marriage. The fianceés background secured the position of the young officer in the society of St Petersburg and stabilized his economy. Anastasia Mannerheim was an orthodox by faith, but Gustaf remained Lutheran. They spoke French at home.
Gustaf and Anastasia had two daughters, Anastasie (1893-1977) and Sophie (24 July, 1895 8 February, 1963).
The marital relationship probably began to deteriorate around 1896, and at the turn of the year, Anastasia left for the Far East in the service of the Red Cross.
The marriage ended in an unofficial separation in 1902 and in a divorce in 1919. Anastasia moved abroad with the two daughters in 1903 and died in Paris on the 31st of December, 1936.
The children attended Catholic boarding schools in France and received an Anglo-French education. In 1913, both the daughters went to Finland to live with relatives, because the father, who was in Poland at the time, was not able to look after them.
Anastasies health had been frail since childhood and, after growing up, she had a tendency to isolate. After her conversion into Catholic faith she joined in with the Carmelites in England, but left the convent in the 1930s.
Sophie, the younger daughter, lived in Switzerland and England during the First World War. In 1918 she came to Finland to see her father, and
participated in the Helsinki University Promotion in 1919 as the binder of the bays. She did not, however, feel at home in Finland for any length of time, and made her permanent home in France. There she participated in a pro-Finland campaign during the Winter War.
COURSE OF LIFE | FAMILY | TIME OF GROWTH | MILITARY CAREER | WAR OF INDEPENDENCE | REGENT 1918-1919 | CIVILIAN | DEFENCE COUNCIL | COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF 1939-1946 | PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC 1944-1946 | RETIREMENT | SPECIAL TOPICS | SEARCH