Mary Shelley was influenced by the newly discovered phenomenon of galvinism when she wrote her masterpiece Frankenstein. So I discovered when I watched a programme on Mary Shelley on iPlayer a couple of evenings ago (no longer available, I'm afraid, although I expect it will be repeated soon).
In the 1770s an Italian scientist Luigi Galvani discovered that a spark of electricity would cause a dead frog's legs to twitch. To non-scientist outsiders, this seemed as if the dead could be brought back to life. We know that Mary Shelley was interested in science and found these experiments fascinating. The way the scientist, Victor Frankenstein, created the monster, is not explained in the novel, but he does say 'I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet'.
The verb 'to galvanise' or 'galvanize' was formed a few years after the coining of the word 'galvanism' and within about 50 years it was being used figuratively, which is its common usage these days -- to galvanise someone into action (ie encourage, or stimulate to action) or to galvanise life into something.