Arthur George Frederick Griffiths (9 December 1838 – 24 March 1908) was a British military officer, prison administrator and author who published more than sixty books during his lifetime. He was also a military historian who wrote extensively about the wars of the 19th century, and was for a time a military correspondent for The Times newspaper.
Griffiths was born on 9 December 1838, at Poona, India, the second son of Lieutenant-colonel John Griffiths of the 6th Royal Warwickshire regiment. After graduating from King William’s College on the Isle of Man, Arthur Griffiths joined the British Army as an ensign in the 63rd Regiment of Foot on 13 February 1855. Serving in the Crimean War, Griffiths participated in the siege of Sevastopol, and also fought during the capture of Kinburn (1855), receiving the British Crimea medal.
From 1864 until 1870 Griffiths, now promoted to the rank of brigade major, was given temporary charge of the Gibraltar convict prison. He left the army in 1870 to become deputy governor of the convict prisons of Chatham (1870–72), Millbank (1872–74), and Wormwood Scrubs (1874–78). From 1878 until 1899 he served as an inspector of prisons.
His later accounts of crime and punishment in England were “sensational and grotesque”, designed to appeal to the baser fascinations of his Victorian readers. Their success led him to write mystery crime novels such as Fast and Loose, published in 1885.