Benjamin Kingsbury was born in Auckland in 1987 and brought up in New Zealand and Pakistan. He completed an MA in History at the University of Canterbury and received his PhD from Victoria University of Wellington. The thesis on which The Dark Island is based attracted several awards and scholarships, including the Philip Ross May Gown for the most outstanding History thesis of the year and the Sir James Hight Memorial Prize. His first book, An Imperial Disaster: The Bengal Cyclone of 1876, was published by Oxford University Press in 2018. He has taught history at Victoria University of Wellington and now works as a historian for Te Arawhiti, the Office for Maori Crown Relations.