Kronstadt, a naval base guarding the approach to St. Petersburg, a few miles from Finland, was established by Peter the Great in 1704. The turning point in Animal Farm is related to events that took place there early in 1921. Food shortages and a harsh regime prompted a series of strikes in Leningrad; in March the strikers were supported by sailors at the Kronstadt naval base. This was the first serious uprising not only by supporters of the Revolution against their government but by a city and by naval personnel particularly associated with ensuring the success of the 1917 Revolution. Trotsky and Mikhail Tukhachevsky (1893–1937) put down the rebellion, but the losses sustained by the rebels were not in vain. A New Economic Policy was enunciated shortly after which recognized the need for reforms. Tukhachevsky was made a Marshal of the Soviet Union in 1935, but two years later he was executed in one of Stalin’s purges. The fact that Macdonald missed the significance of the “turning-point” in Animal Farm may be the reason why Orwell strengthened this moment in his adaptation for radio, the script of which he was to deliver in a week or so. He added this little exchange: CLOVER : Do you think that it is quite fair to appropriate the apples? MOLLY : What, keep all the apples for themselves? MURIEL : Aren’t we to have any? COW : I thought they were to be shared out equally. Unfortunately, Rayner Heppenstall cut these from the script as broadcast. ↩
In his edition of the Collected Works (20 volumes), Peter Davison notes that Orwell's American publisher claimed that the title derived from reversing the date, 1948, though there's no documentary evidence for this. Davison also argues that the date 1984 is linked to the year of Richard Blair's birth, 1944, and notes that in the manuscript of the novel, the narrative occurs, successively, in 1980, 1982 and finally, 1984. There's no mystery about the decision to abandon "The Last Man in Europe". Orwell himself was always unsure of it. It was his publisher, Fred Warburg who suggested that Nineteen Eighty-Four was a more commercial title.
Davison later compiled a handful of writings—including letters, an obituary for H. G. Wells , and his reconstruction of Orwell's list —into Lost Orwell: Being a Supplement to The Complete Works of George Orwell , which was published by Timewell Press in 2006, with a paperback published on 25 September 2007. In 2011, Davison's selection of letters and journal entries were published as George Orwell: A Life in Letters and Diaries by Harvill Secker.  A selection by Davison from Orwell's journalism and other writings were published by Harvill Secker in 2014 under the title Seeing Things as They Are .